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Prior Year Tax Return

Posted by admin on November 22, 2021
Last modified: November 22, 2021

What is a “tax year” and a “tax season,” and what is the difference?

The “tax year” in the United States refers to the twelve-month period to be used when determining your taxable income and any tax-deductible expenditures.

For most individual taxpayers, this runs from January 1 to December 31 for any given year. This is the year-long accounting period when you either pay or withhold taxes, keep your paper and digital records, and report your income and expenses. 

On the other hand, the corresponding “tax season” refers to the period from January 1 until April 15 of any current year to prepare and electronically file your tax return. It ends on the due date for filing your tax return.

Extensions for filing your tax return are possible, which can give you an extra six months to prepare and file your tax return. This is why you sometimes see the tax season described as from January 1 until October 15.

So for the 2020 tax year, you would have from January 1, 2021 to April 15, 2021 to prepare and file your tax return on time. If you file for an extension, you would have from January 1, 2021 to October 15, 2021 to prepare and file your tax return on time.

prior year tax return
prior year tax return

Who needs to file taxes?

Each year, the IRS sets thresholds for minimum gross income. If you make less than this threshold, you don’t need to file a tax return unless there are special circumstances, and if you make more, you need to file your tax return.

For the 2020 tax year, this means that typically if you are a single person under 65 years old, you don’t need to file a tax return in 2021 if you made less than $12,000. Likewise, if you are the head of your household, you typically don’t need to file your tax return in 2021 if you made less than $18,650.

Is there a deadline to file prior year taxes?

If you expect a tax refund, you have three years from the original tax return deadline to file your prior year tax return and claim your refund. When you are eligible for a tax refund, there is no worry about penalties here.

If you owe taxes, there is no deadline to file a prior year tax return. However, you should be aware of late filing and late payment penalties from the IRS in this case.

In most instances, the IRS requires individuals to file their tax returns for the last six tax years, if required to file, to be considered squared away and in good standing with the IRS.

Can you still claim a refund when you file a prior year tax return?

Yes, it is possible to claim a refund for a prior year tax return if you are eligible. For most circumstances, you are eligible for a tax refund when you have paid more tax during a given tax year than you actually owe.

However, there is a deadline to claim a tax refund. You will need to make your claim for a refund within three years of the original deadline to file your tax return.

So you have until April 15, 2023 to claim a refund on your 2019 taxes. You have until April 15, 2022 to claim a refund on your 2018 taxes. And you had until May 17, 2021 to claim a refund on your 2017 taxes. (In 2021, the IRS automatically extended the last day to file your taxes to May 17.) Use our Tax Calculator to get a better idea of your return

After the deadline, any unclaimed amount of excess taxes paid goes to the U.S. Treasury.

If you believe you are owed a refund from the IRS for prior year tax, don’t wait any longer to get your back taxes in order. PriorTax can help you get your prior year tax taken care of today.

Why is it a good idea to file prior year taxes even if you cannot pay right now?

The IRS has both late filing and late payment penalties for when you did not file a tax return when you needed to do so. In addition, your outstanding prior year tax balance continues to accrue interest each month that you let it go unpaid.

However, in most cases it is a good idea to file your prior year taxes even if you are not in the position to pay all of what you owe right now. This is because the IRS’ late filing penalty will usually work out to be larger than their late payment penalty.

If you owe a significant amount to the IRS but cannot pay the full balance, you should still file your prior tax returns. You should then get in touch with the IRS to work out a payment plan so that you can pay it off according to what you can afford.

Filing your prior tax returns can stop the more considerable filing penalties, and with a payment plan in place, you can avoid more severe collection enforcement for your unpaid tax bill.

To get help getting your prior year tax returns in order, get in touch today. First, you pick the tax years you want to file. Then we help you to file your tax returns, answer any questions along the way, and review and prep the documents for you to download, print, sign, and mail off.

How do I obtain my prior tax returns?

There are times when you cannot obtain copies of your tax documents, like W-2 forms from employers or 1099 forms from your bank or for your other sources of income. In that case, you can request a free tax transcript from the IRS summarizing your return information. They are available for the current tax year and for the past three years.

However, there are also times when you need an actual copy of your prior tax returns rather than a summary. Then, in that case, you can request them from the IRS for a fee. They are available for the current tax year and for the past six years.

Can I Still File My 2019 Taxes

Posted by admin on November 9, 2021
Last modified: November 9, 2021

Have you recently wondered, can I still file my 2019 taxes electronically or file them at all?

Now that it’s October, you may be seeing reminders popping up online, in the news, or on TV about filing your tax returns for the year. That’s because, just like April 15 each year, October 15 is also a tax filing deadline.

April 15 is the annual deadline to file federal income tax returns for the previous calendar year.

October 15 is the annual extended deadline to file federal income tax returns for the previous calendar year.

You can file for an extension before the April 15 filing deadline. Then, you have until the October 15 deadline to file your tax returns before you become liable for late fees or additional interest.

With these current deadlines for 2020 taxes on the horizon, if you didn’t file a tax return for your 2019 taxes, you may be wondering if it is too late. Can I still file my 2019 taxes electronically? Or can I still file my 2019 taxes at all?

file 2019 taxes
file 2019 taxes

So, can I still file my 2019 taxes?

Yes, you can still file my 2019 taxes. And there are many reasons why it can be a good idea to file my 2019 taxes at this point.

While the deadline to file your 2019 taxes on time was July 15, 2020, there is no deadline to file your prior year’s taxes. However, there are some dates you need to be aware of if you think you are owed a tax refund — more on that in a bit.

If you made more than the minimum gross income set by the IRS for the 2019 tax year, you could benefit from filing my 2019 tax return, even if late. This is true both if you can expect a tax refund or if you owe taxes. You can use our 2019 Tax Calculator to calculate your estimated expected tax refund or tax bill.

The minimum gross income threshold set by the IRS takes into account four different factors:

  • if you are claimed as a dependent by someone else
  • if you are married or single
  • your age
  • if you are blind

For the 2019 tax year, if you were a single person under 65 years of age, this worked out to you in most cases not needing to file a tax return in 2020 if you made less than $12,200. If you were the head of your household, you typically weren’t required to file your 2019 tax return in 2020 if you made less than $18,350.

If you still need to file your 2019 taxes, get in touch today. 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.

FILE PRIOR YEAR TAXES

Posted by admin on November 3, 2021
Last modified: November 3, 2021

Don’t stress about how to file prior year taxes. It is a step-by-step process that you can follow to file your prior year tax returns with confidence. Getting on top of filing prior year taxes may be easier than you think.

Filing your prior year taxes may also have the added benefits, including: 

  • helping you claim tax refunds owed, 
  • protecting your social security benefits if you’re self-employed, 
  • and avoiding issues when looking to get a loan approved from your bank.
file prior year taxes
file prior year taxes

What Do You Need to File Prior Year taxes?

Like when filing your tax return normally, to file prior year taxes, you will need to collect all of your income information for the tax year you are preparing your return.

These would include documents such as W-2 forms with information about your wages, salaries, and tips and 1099 forms for your other sources of income like bank accounts or self-employment income.

You may also need your AGI (adjusted gross income) amount from your prior year tax return to validate your identity for filing your taxes online.

When these tax records are missing, and you cannot obtain copies, you can request a free tax transcript from the IRS, which will summarize your return information, including AGI. Tax transcripts are available going back to the past three tax years. To obtain tax transcripts, you can order them via the IRS website, via phone, and via mail by completing and mailing Form 4506-T or Form 4506T-EZ.

An actual copy of a prior tax return can be requested from the IRS, going back even further than the past six tax years. However, they are only available for a fee. To obtain copies, you need to complete and mail Form 4506.

With your documents in order and the required information to hand, it’s now a question of how to file prior year taxes for each year you are looking to file.

1. Figure out if you were required to file a tax return for each year you are looking into filing your prior year taxes.

For each tax year in question, take a look at the threshold for minimum gross income set by the IRS. Depending on your personal circumstances and annual gross income for each year, the IRS may not have required you to file a tax return for that year.

2. Figure out what deductions and credits are relevant to your situation.

Deductions and credits will help to reduce your taxable income and are still relevant even when filing prior year taxes.

  • If you are itemizing deductions on your prior year tax return: you will need to collect the relevant documentation to support each deduction.
  • If you are claiming dependents on your prior year tax return: you will need the names and social security numbers for each of your dependents.

3. Obtain the correct tax forms for your return and for the tax year you are filing.

Tax forms are year-specific. So, prior year tax returns will need to be filed using the original tax forms for the specific year. You will also need to identify which documents you need for your financial and personal circumstances.

4. Fill out your tax forms.

Tax forms will come with instructions specific to that year’s version of the form. Therefore, when filing prior year taxes, it’s essential to make sure that you are using the instructions for the specific year that you are filing your return.

5. Mail off your tax return and supporting documents.

The address that you will need to send your paperwork to appears on the filing instructions. The IRS states that it takes them approximately six weeks to process completed prior year tax returns after they receive them. 

What Years’ Prior Tax Return Can be Filed?

If you are expecting a tax refund: You have three years from your original deadline to file prior year taxes and claim your refund. This means that you have until April 15, 2023 to claim your refund for your 2019 taxes overpaid. And you have until April 15, 2022 to claim your refund for you 2018 taxes overpaid . And you had until May 17, 2021 to claim your refund for your 2017 taxes overpaid.

If you owe taxes: You have no deadline to file prior year taxes. However, it is usually a good idea for you to file prior year taxes in this case. This is even if you are not currently in a position to pay your full unpaid tax bill.

The IRS has both late filing and late payment penalties, which make your tax bill even higher. Three things are good to know here:

  1. You aren’t penalized twice if you don’t file prior year taxes or pay the corresponding prior year tax bills.
  2. You begin to accumulate interest that compounds daily on your unpaid tax bill from one day after the bill was due.
  3. The IRS’s late filing penalty typically works out most costly than their late payment penalty. The late filing penalty is 5% of the taxes you owe for each month unpaid plus interest compared with 0.5% of the taxes you owe for each month outstanding plus interest.

Visit us today if you are looking to file prior year taxes online. Don’t wait any longer to get your back taxes in order because PriorTax can help guide you through the process if you don’t know how to file prior year taxes.

Our application guides you through the filing process with simple prompts to learn about tax and financial situations. PriorTax answers any of your questions along the way and reviews and preps your documents for filing. 

Did you miss the deadline to file your current year taxes? You have until October 15 to fully file your tax return online, from prepping all the way to e-filing. However, you can’t use e-file when you file prior year taxes from 2019 and earlier. But, with us, you can file prior year taxes online right up to the point when you print, sign, and mail it off.