The deadline to file your 2019 taxes on time may have passed. However, it’s not too late to get on top of the paperwork and file your 2019 taxes. Plus, filing your prior year’s taxes can be easier than you think.
While it’s not too late to file your 2019 taxes, it is now too late to file your 2019 taxes online using e-file. Instead, you will need to mail in a hard copy of your tax return to file your 2019 taxes. The deadline to use e-file to file your 2019 taxes online was October 15, 2020.
Although you can no longer file your 2019 taxes online, there are options available for you to prepare your tax return online. Visit PriorTax.com today. We can help you prepare your 2019 tax return online, reviewing and organizing your documents to be downloaded, printed, signed, and mailed off to the IRS. In addition, our experienced tax professionals can answer any questions you may have along the way.
Now that you’ve decided to get back on track with your tax filing obligations, where to start? The first step to filing any prior-year tax return, including your 2019 taxes, is to gather all the information you will need.
So, what information will you need to file your 2019 taxes?
What you’ll need can be broken down into three broad categories: your personal information, information about your income, and any adjustments to your income. Let’s take each of these in turn.
Personal Information to file 2019 taxes online
This category contains information to help the IRS process your tax return. The IRS needs to match the file of your 2019 taxes to you, know who your tax return includes, and then know where to deposit your tax refund if applicable.
- Birthdates and Social Security or other Taxpayer Identification Numbers for you, your spouse, and your dependents
- Copies of last year’s tax returns are helpful but not required
- Your bank account number and routing number, if you want to receive any tax refund by direct deposit
Information about your Income to file 2019 taxes online
This category contains all the information you will need to fill out the income section of your 2019 tax return. The most common document will be the W-2 form known as the “Wage and Tax Statement” that you received from your employer. Other forms of income include self-employment income, dividends, royalties which will have their own documents.
Here’s a checklist of the relevant income paperwork and information you may have:
- Form W-2
- Form 1099-C “Cancellation of Debt” (the IRS generally considers canceled debt as taxable income)
- Form 1099-G “Certain Government Payments” (forms for unemployment income and state/local tax refunds)
- Form 1099-MISC “Miscellaneous Income” (forms you may receive for a range of different types of non-employee compensation)
- Form 1099-R “Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement, or Profit-Sharing Plans” (forms for payments/distributions from IRAs or retirement plans)
- Form 1099-S “Proceeds from Real Estate Transactions” (forms for income from the sale of a property)
- Forms 1099-INT, -DIV, -B, or K-1 s (forms for investment or interest income)
- Form SSA-1099 (forms for if you received Social Security benefits)
- Alimony payments received
- Business or Farming income: profit/loss statement, capital equipment information
- Miscellaneous Sources of Income: jury duty, gambling winnings, Medical Savings Account, scholarships, etc.
- Installment Sale Information: Forms 6252, principal and interest collected during the year, SSN and address for payer
Income and Expenses from Rental Property: profit/loss statement, suspended loss information
Adjustments to your Income to file 2019 taxes online
This category contains the information about your expenses that will help you calculate your Adjusted Gross Income or AGI. This information can reduce the amount of your income that the IRS considers taxable. This can help increase your tax refund or lower the amount of your tax bill still outstanding.
- Form 1098-E “Student Loan Interest Statement” (forms for student loan interest paid, loan statements for student loans are also relevant here)
- Alimony payments paid
- Records of any IRA contributions made during the year
- Records of Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions
- For Students and Student Dependents: Form 1098-T for tuition paid (receipts/canceled checks for tuition paid for higher education are also relevant here)
- For Teachers: receipts/canceled checks for expenses paid for classroom supplies, etc.
- For armed forces reservists, employees with impairment-related work expenses, fee-basis state or local government officials, and specific categories of performing artists: receipts/canceled checks for employee business expenses.
If you are self-employed:
- Records of self-employed health insurance payments
- Records of payments into SEP, SIMPLE, and other qualified self-employed pension plans
Itemizing your Tax Deductions to file 2019 taxes online
While filing your 2019 taxes, just like in any other tax year, you have the choice to either take the standard deduction or to itemize your deductions.
The standard deduction is a preset amount that taxpayers are allowed to deduct from their taxable income annually. The standard deduction amount will depend on your filing status, and to keep up with inflation, it is annually indexed.
Depending on your personal situation, itemizing your deductions and credits may help you to lower your tax bill more than standard deductions. This can be especially true for high earners who also have several large expenses to deduct. To itemize your deductions, you will need to collect documentation detailing expenses so that you can be sure you are getting all the deductions and credits to your tax bill that you are eligible for.
What can you do if you are missing some of the tax documents you need to file 2019 taxes?
There can be a lot of paperwork and digital files to keep track of to file your taxes. Have you lost some of your documents? Fortunately, for the times when you cannot obtain new copies of your tax documents, there is a backup available. In such cases, you can request a free tax transcript from the IRS. This document will summarize your return information.
Free tax transcripts from the IRS are available for the current tax year and the past three years. So, you have until 2023 to request a free tax transcript for the 2019 tax year.