Did you know that the income threshold is different if you are self-employed? You needed to file your 2019 taxes if you had at least $400 of net earnings from self-employment. You can still file your 2019 taxes if this applies to you and you did not fulfill your filing requirements in 2020.
If You are Expecting a Tax Refund
If you are expecting a tax refund, you have three years to file your prior year’s taxes. That means that April 15, 2023 is the deadline to submit your 2019 tax return and claim your 2019 tax refund.
After that date, the amount the IRS owes you is retained by the government and goes to the U.S. Treasury. After that date, you will also be unable to apply any excess tax paid toward another tax year where you owe income tax.
You may also be owed money by the IRS even if you earned less than the minimum gross income and weren’t required to file your 2019 taxes. Your employer may have withheld income tax for you throughout 2019 that you can claim back.
You aren’t able to get any of your money owed back until you file. So, if you haven’t yet filed your 2019 taxes you should file as soon as possible to get your money as soon as possible.
If You Owe Taxes
If you owe taxes, it will often be a good idea to file your prior year’s taxes, even if you are not currently able to pay your unpaid tax bill in full. Although you can face tax penalties filing your 2019 taxes after the deadline, you can reduce these the earlier you file.
The IRS has both late filing and late payment penalties. However, the late filing penalty will usually work to be more expensive than the late payment penalty. This is why you can generally benefit from filing even if you are unable to pay your full unpaid tax bill.
This advice remains true even if you owe a significant amount to the IRS but cannot pay your full tax bill for 2019. After filing your 2019 taxes, you can then benefit from working out a tax payment plan with the IRS. This has a few benefits:
- By filing your 2019 tax return, you can put a stop to the more considerable late filing penalties. Remember that letting IRS late filing penalties will usually end up being much more costly than the equivalent late payment penalties.
- Contacting the IRS to be put on a payment plan means that you can pay off your tax bill according to what you are able to afford.
- A payment plan in place to pay your outstanding tax bill means that you can avoid more severe forms of collection enforcement for that bill.
And, can I still file my 2019 taxes electronically?
No. Unfortunately, you cannot still file your 2019 taxes electronically. The deadline to file your 2019 taxes electronically was October 15, 2020. However, there are options available so that you can put together the paperwork for your 2019 taxes electronically. Once the documents for your 2019 tax return are completed, you can print and mail them to the IRS and/or the relevant state tax agencies.
Free tax transcripts from the IRS are available for the current tax year at RapidTax.com and the past three years at PriorTax.com, so, you have until 2023 to request a free tax transcript for the 2019 tax year.
PriorTax.com can help you file your prior tax returns and answer any questions you may have during the process. We can review and prep your documents for you to download, print, sign, and mail off.