tax forms

Need Last Years Tax Return? 8 Tips on Ordering Old Tax Returns

Sometimes taxpayers need a copy of an old tax return, but can’t find or don’t have their own records. There are three easy and convenient options for getting tax return transcripts and tax account transcripts from the IRS: on the web, by phone or by mail. There are eight things you need to know about getting federal tax return information from a previously filed tax return.

 

Information About Ordering Old Tax Returns

1. You can order transcripts online or by phone for the current tax year as well as the past three tax years. Earlier tax years must be requested with Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript.

2. A tax return transcript shows most line items from your tax return as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules. It does not reflect any changes made after the return was filed.

3. A tax account transcript shows any later adjustments either you or the IRS made after the tax return was filed. This transcript shows basic data, including marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income and taxable income.

4. To request either transcript online from this website use our online tool called Order a Transcript. To order by phone, call 800-908-9946 and follow the prompts in the recorded message. When you use these automated self-service options, the selected transcript will be mailed to your current address of record. To have your transcript mailed to a different address, complete and mail Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return. The IRS does not charge a fee for transcripts.

5. To request a 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ tax return transcript through the mail, complete IRS Form 4506T-EZ. Businesses, partnerships and individuals who need transcript information from other forms or need a tax account transcript must use the Form 4506T.

6. If you order online or by phone, you should receive your tax return transcript within five to 10 calendar days from the time the IRS receives your request. Allow 30 calendar days for delivery of a tax account transcript if you order by mail using Form 4506T or Form 4506T-EZ.

7. If you still need an actual copy of a previously processed tax return, it will cost $57 for each tax year you order. Complete Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, and mail it to the IRS address listed on the form for your area.  Copies are generally available for the current year as well as the past six years. Please allow 60 days for actual copies of your return.

8. Visit this website to determine which form will meet your needs. Forms 4506, 4506T and 4506T-EZ can be downloaded here or by calling the IRS forms and publications order line at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

 

IRS Links to Order Old Tax Returns

Order a Transcript online tool
Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript
Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return
Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Form

Do You Need to Amend Your Tax Return?

Do You Need to Amend Your Tax Return?

If you forgot to include some income or to take a deduction on your tax return – you can correct it by amending your tax return.

In some cases, you do not need to amend your tax return.  The Internal Revenue Service usually corrects math errors or requests missing forms – such as W-2s or schedules – when processing an original return. In these instances, do not amend your return.

 

However, you should file an amended return if any of the following were reported incorrectly:

  • Your filing status
  • Your dependents
  • Your total income
  • Your deductions or credits

You may also elect to amend your 2009 return if you are eligible to claim the first-time homebuyer credit for a qualified 2010 home purchase.  The amended tax return will allow you to claim the homebuyer credit on your 2009 return without waiting until next year to claim it on the 2010 return.

Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct a previously filed Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. Be sure to check the box for the year of the return you are amending on the Form 1040X, Line B. If you are amending more than one tax return, prepare a 1040X for each return and mail them in separate envelopes to the appropriate IRS processing center.. The 1040X instructions list the addresses for the centers.

 

Filing Form 1040X

The newly revised Form 1040X (Rev. January 2010) now has only one column used to show the corrected figures. There is an area on the front of the form where you explain why you are filing Form 1040X.

If the changes involve other schedules or forms, attach them to the Form 1040X. For example, if you are filing a 1040X because you have a qualifying child and now want to claim the Earned Income Credit, you must attach a Schedule EIC, Earned Income Credit to show the qualifying person’s name, year of birth and Social Security number.

If you are filing to claim an additional refund, wait until you have received your original refund before filing Form 1040X. You may cash that check while waiting for any additional refund. If you owe additional tax for 2009, you should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to limit interest and penalty charges. Interest is charged on any tax not paid by the due date of the original return, without regard to extensions.

Generally, to claim a refund, you must file Form 1040X within three years from the date you filed your original return or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.

 

Have you ever had to amend a return?
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Top 10 Tips for Last Minute Tax Filers

With the tax filing deadline close at hand, here are the top 10 tips for last minute taxpayers still working on their tax return. Sometimes the most frustrating part of preparing your tax return is dealing with unsuccessful attempts to e-file. E-filing your return instead of mailing definitely has some benefits, especially receiving your refund much faster. The Internal Revenue Service can reject your e-filing for a wide range of reasons, which means you’ll need to figure out what went wrong and try again. However, if you implement some basic tips, you may be able to avoid unnecessary e-file rejections.

 

Top 10 Tips for Last Minute Tax Filers

efile Tax Tips

  1. E-file your return. Consider filing electronically instead of using paper tax forms. Choosing to e-file is the best way to ensure your return is accurate and complete.
  2. Review tax ID numbers. Remember to carefully check all identification numbers on your return. Incorrect or illegible Social Security Numbers can delay or reduce a tax refund.
  3. Double-check your figures. Whether you are filing electronically or by paper, review all the amounts you transferred over from your W-2 or 1099.
  4. Review your math. Taxpayers filing paper returns should also double-check that they have correctly figured the refund or balance due and have used the right figure from the tax table.
  5. Sign and date your return. Both spouses must sign a joint return, even if only one had income. Anyone paid to prepare a return must also sign it.
  6. Choose Direct Deposit. To get your refund quicker, select Direct Deposit and the IRS will deposit your refund directly into your bank account.
  7. How to make a payment. People sending a payment should make the check out to “United States Treasury” and should enclose it with, but not attach it to the tax return or the Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, if used. Write your name, address, SSN, telephone number, tax year and form number on the check or money order.
  8. File an extension. Taxpayers who will not be able to file a return by the April deadline should request an extension of time to file. Remember, the extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay.
  9. Visit the IRS Web site. IRS.gov has forms, publications and helpful information on a variety of tax subjects, which is available around the clock on the IRS.gov.
  10. Review your return….one more time. Before you seal the envelope or hit send, go over all the information on return again. Errors may delay the processing of your return, so it’s best for you to make sure everything on your return is correct.

 

Common eFile Errors Lead to Rejections

One of the easier e-file rejections to fix is the names reported on your tax forms. When you e-file, the IRS will check to ensure that your name matches the Social Security number (SSN) reported on the form. Another frequent mismatch occurs when there is a name change due to marriage or divorce. If you change your last name, you need to notify the Social Security Administration to get your SSN reassigned to your new name, or risk your e-file being rejected. When you take exemptions for your dependents, your tax form requires their full names, SSNs and the relationship you have with each of them. The IRS e-file system will verify that each dependent’s name matches the corresponding SSN by comparing the information to IRS master files. If it doesn’t match, the IRS will reject your e-filing.

Further, certain tax return filing statuses require additional information on the return other than just marking the appropriate status box. If filing as head of household, for example, one of the eligibility requirements is that you claim at least one dependent on your return. Thus, if you forget to list your dependent or report your dependent’s name or SSN incorrectly, the e-filing system will catch this error and reject your e-file submission

 

Additional IRS Links on eFile:

Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request
Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher
Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return