How To File All Your Back Tax Returns

Written by on August 6, 2013 in Money - No comments | Print this page


tax imageOwing back taxes may carry consequences such as getting audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), having liens placed on your wages and assets, and in some cases, facing prosecution.

When planning to settle tax debt, your first line of action should be to file your back tax returns.

One important thing to keep in mind is that it is never too late to file your back taxes. The basic procedure to follow involves the following steps:

Gather Your Taxation Documents

Your financial documents will be necessary for filing your returns. Additionally, receipts and other supporting documents will be necessary for proving your eligibility to certain deductions and credits.

Once you have all the necessary supporting documents, you need to fill in all the necessary correct forms.

Types of Forms for Filing Back Tax Returns

There are a variety of income tax returns forms each serving a different category of tax payer. The most commonly used forms are:

Form W-2:                 This is a statement of earned wages, salaries, and tips.

Form 4852:                This is a substitute to be used in case your employer does not submit your Form W-2

Form 4868:                This is used to seek an automatic extension to October 15 for filing form 1040.

Form 1099:                This is an alternate statement of income that does not involve wages, salaries, and tips. The types of income include contractor fees and other types of non-employee compensation.

Form 1040:                 This is the most used form for individuals and it contains the personal information of the tax payer, details on dependents, sources of income, and any income adjustments. The form also contains calculations on taxable income, allowable credits, tax deductions, and tax due. The form also contains a Presidential election campaign check off that allows the taxpayer to direct that $3 out of the tax collected should be allocated to the presidential election campaign fund.

Form 1040A:             This is a short version of the form 1040

Form 1040EZ:            This is a version of the form 1040 to be filled by single and joint filers who have no dependents.

Form 1040NR:           This is a form 1040 designed for non-resident aliens.

Form 1040NR-EZ:     This is a form 1040 designed for non-resident aliens who have no dependents.

How to Get the Necessary Forms

The most convenient and quickest way to get your hands on any of these tax forms is to download directly from the IRS website using your computer.

Your tax preparer’s website may also provide links to the downloadable forms. You can also check at your nearest post office and local libraries during tax season. Your local tax center and any IRS office will also have the forms and you can also request the IRS to send them to you by mail.

Details Required

IRS tax forms ask for many different types of personal and financial information. The main types of information you will need to fill in include:

Personal details:         Name, address, and your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

Filing status:               These include single status, married filing jointly status, married filing separately status, head of household status, qualifying widow or widower with dependent child(ren) status, or more than one kind of status.

Tax exemptions:        These are exemption claims for self or dependents.

Income:                    These are any monies you have received during the financial year.

AGI:                         The Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is a calculation of your income from taxable sources minus your deductions

Deductions and credits: These will reduce your tax owed.

Payments:                  These include withheld tax previously paid by your employer.

Refund:                      Using the IRS’ “Where’s My Refund” system, you can track the status of any pending refunds you are claiming.

Designee:                   This is any third party you authorize to represent you in front of the IRS. These may include family members, tax preparers, tax attorney, or tax accountant.

Procedure for Filing Back Taxes

Once you have filled in all relevant forms, you need to append your signature otherwise the forms will not be valid. If filing jointly, all parties should sign all the necessary forms. you then need to assemble al, the duly filled and signed forms, attachments, and schedules.

Filing Methods

To submit your back tax returns, you may use regular post office mail, mail it electronically, mail it through a courier service, or send it through a qualified and approved tax preparer. The online direct deposit option is the fastest filing method and using it means you receive your tax refund faster. The following is the list of available filing methods:

  1. Paper filing
  2. Tax preparation software
  3. Tax preparer

At Last:

If you owe back taxes, you need to act fast to file your back tax returns with the IRS whether or not you are capable of paying. It is only through filing that the countdown on statute of limitation can begin or you can open negotiations with the IRS for better payments terms.

About the Author: Martin Kane has worked in financial consultancy for the past 13 years. In his earlier years, right after graduating from college with a Finance Degree, Martin got his first job with a local bank and had a 6 year stint in the banking sector before he moved to financial consultancy.


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