How to file back tax returns

If you have unfiled tax returns from previous years, the first thing that you need to do is to file the returns.  This may seem like an helpfilingbacktaxreturnsobvious statement and you may very well feel overwhelmed at the mere thought of filing back taxes.  You may have missed filing a single return or have years of unfiled back taxes.  No matter how grim you feel the situation is, or how overwhelming the task of filing the returns may be, the best way to resolve the situation is to deal with it.

You must first recognize that you are not the only one that is facing this dilemma.  Many individuals fail to file tax returns and there are a multitude of reasons that a person fails to file.  Whatever the reason for not filing, the resolution for dealing with the issue is one in the same and that is to file the back returns.

Here are the basic 3 steps that you will need to follow to file the back tax returns:

  • Obtain the tax return form for the exact year or years that you need to file.  Since tax laws change every year, the forms will also change with any given year.  You can get these forms from your local IRS office, an online resource, or a certified tax professional.
  • Gather Financial History.  Collect your wages and earnings statements (W2), miscellaneous income statement (1099), and any other document that would represent your income for the year that you need to file.  You will also want to collect any receipts or statements that may be deductible expenses that you incurred for the year.  If you do not have any of the financial history documents, you may want to contact a tax professional that specializes in preparing back tax returns to assist you in documenting the financial history.
  • Complete the Return and Mail it In. Complete the return to the best of your ability, sign and date it, and mail it to the address that is listed on the return.  If you are filing multiple years of returns, mail each return separately.  If you have hired a representative or tax professional to assist you, they will likely take care of doing this for you.

After you have filed your back tax returns, the IRS will contact you, or your representative with an assessment of what is owed.

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