Estate tax transcripts can now be accessed online through the IRS website.

“The ability to access those transcripts online is a significant milestone in the Internal Revenue Service’s effort to reduce the number of estate tax closing letter requests and lessen its workload,” said Catherine Hughes, of the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy.

Before June 1, 2015, the IRS issued an estate tax closing letter for every estate tax return filed.  For returns filed on or after that date, the IRS issues a closing letter only at the request of the estate.

In Notice 2017-12, issued in January 2017, the IRS stated that in lieu of closing letters, executors, local probate courts, state tax departments, and others can request an account transcript—a computer-generated report that includes the date on which the return was received, payment history, refund history, penalties assessed, interest assessed, the balance due with accruals, and the date on which the examination was closed.

The transcripts can be accessed online by going to IRS.gov, typing “estate tax closing letters” in the search box on the upper-right-hand side of the homepage, and then selecting “Transcripts in Lieu of Estate Tax Closing Letters.” The link provides instructions for obtaining an account transcript.