How To File Back Taxes
Need to know how to file back taxes? In order to file back taxes, you must meet the deadlines and have the correct forms. You should always file the oldest year first and continue filing each year until you are caught up. Not filing your taxes can result in penalties, interest charges and, in some cases, a fine for deliberately avoiding your tax liability.
To file back taxes, you will need:
- The correct 1040 form (for that year)
- State tax forms (for that year)
- W-2 forms (for that year)
- 1099 forms (for that year)
- Other supporting tax documents (for that year)
- Tax tables (for that year)
- Start the process of filing back taxes by downloading the correct tax forms for the year that you need. Obtain both the federal and the state forms. If you owe money, you can file back tax returns for all prior years. If you are due a refund, you can only collect a refund for the past three years from the deadline of the tax return for federal taxes; some states have a four-year deadline. For instance, if you have a 2006 tax return that has a refund due for your federal taxes, you must file it by April 15, 2010. However, if your state has a four-year statue, you can file the state return until April 15, 2011.
- Fill out the federal forms to file back taxes using the correct tax documents from that tax year. Use the correct tax tables, which can be found in that year’s instruction booklet, which can be found online. Determine if you have a refund or if you have a balance due to the IRS.
- Send the 1040 form with all supporting documents in to the IRS, using the correct address in the back of the instruction booklet. If you owe money, you should send it in with the form or the IRS will send you a letter with penalties and interest calculated.
- Call the IRS at the number listed on the letter. Arrange to pay, possibly in installments, and to discuss avoiding more penalties and interest that occurred when you filed your back taxes. If you have a refund coming, it could take six to ten weeks for it to arrive. If you owe back taxes, the IRS will keep the refund and apply it to the tax owed.
- Complete the state return and mail it to the state office. Use the correct tax year form and tax table. If you owe taxes to the state, you will receive a letter with calculated interest and penalties owed. Call the number of the agency to discuss a payment plan.