Most people dread tax time. Income tax returns are normally due on April 15th for the previous tax year. For a variety of reasons, many people let their tax returns slip later than this. There are many reasons why income taxes get filed late. In fact, you may notice that it may take several years for the IRS to even send you a letter requesting your past returns. Whether or not the IRS has sent you a letter, this does not relieve you of your filing obligation.
Once you get behind, there are plenty of options that will assist you in preparing past year income tax returns. You can choose to use a CPA or other tax professional. Hopefully, you have kept all your W2s, 1099s and other supporting documents that are required for the return. In addition, you may need to track down receipts and other statements. If you can’t find anything, you should contact a professional who can help you obtain the required paperwork.
Many people unfortunately still believe that you can efile past tax returns. But this is simply not the case. Efile is only open for current year tax returns that are filed timely (including extensions). Even if you use online software to help, you will certainly need to mail both the state and federal returns in manually.
Once you get all your past tax returns filed, you will have to deal with any outstanding balance that you have. You may also be facing penalties and interest, so this is an area where a tax professional can be of assistance. If you find you are getting a tax refund, it will automatically be applied to the outstanding tax debt that you have. Let this be the last time that you get behind with your tax filings.