Previous Year Tax Returns – What do I Need to File Previous Year Tax Returns?

Posted on 07. Jul, 2012 by in Previous Year Tax Returns, Prior Tax Returns

If you have not filed your previous year tax return, now is the time to do it.  Do not delay, as the longer you wait the more you will owe.  Penalties and interest continue to accrue every day you do not have your previous taxes filed.  Basically, you need the same information you need to file a current year return.  However, pulling the information together for a previous year tax return can be more challenging.  After the year has come and gone, it may be difficult to remember some information, and documentation can be difficult to find.

The best way to start is to go down the list and consider it in light of the previous year.  Think first of those uncommon items that may not occur every year.  Some examples include gambling winnings, inheritances, land sales, etc.  These are common for some, but not for all.  It is imperative that you consider each and every possible source of income and deductions for a previous year tax return to avoid forgetting something essential.

Next, contact a professional.  While it is never really prudent to complete you own tax return, if you have an extremely easy and straight forward return you may be able to get away with it.  However, this will not be the case with a previous year tax return.  The fact is, even if it appears to be easy, the intricacies of filing previous tax returns can get complicated.  Having professional help to help mitigate the risk of costly mistakes is wise.

Finally, turn it in as soon as possible.  Anticipate that you will owe penalties and interest, and get on a payment plan as soon as possible.  During the filing process, if you realize you could owe a significant amount of money, it would be a good idea to get prepared.  Sell things you no longer use, look for sources of extra income, and start saving so you can pay off as much as possible at once.  This will reduce the amount of any monthly payment you may end up with, and you may be surprised.   You may even end up with enough to pay it off completely.

We are a CPA firm and we deal specifically with clients who need help filing prior tax returns.  Have a question? Call us now for a FREE consultation at 1-888-570-1033.

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