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How do you file a tax return for a previous year?

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Quick Answer

The first step when filing a tax return for the previous year is gathering all the tax documents, states Intuit TurboTax. Necessary documents include W-2s and 1099 forms for the previous year. Gather supporting documents to support eligibility for deductions and credits. The next step is to request for any missing documentation by completing and submitting Form 4506-T.

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Full Answer

Form 4506-T is an IRS document for retrieving past tax returns, 1099 and W-2 transcripts that the IRS stores on file, states Wells Fargo. Also called a request for tax transcript form, it gives permission to verify the information submitted to the IRS the previous year. The information on the form is enough for filing past tax returns.

The next step is to download the necessary forms and instructions for filing the back taxes, notes Intuit TurboTax. Filing of taxes for the previous year should be on tax forms for that particular year. These forms are available on the IRS website. Taxpayers should download the instructions for the previous year regarding tax filing. This is because the tax laws change every year, and using wrong instructions may require re-filing of the taxes.

After filling the relevant information, submit the forms to the address listed on Form 1040, states Intuit TurboTax. The IRS sends a notification once it receives these forms. The notification addresses the interest charges and penalty to pay due to late filing.

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