How to File Back Taxes Without Records?

Person calculating taxes

Are you that individual who is finding it hard to file back your taxes because you’ve lost your records? Don’t fret! There is a way out. It’s an easy gateway, one that doesn’t warrant you stressing yourself.

The easiest way to file back taxes without records is to contact the IRS and request a transcript of earnings for your social security number going as far back as they have in their archive.

In addition, you may also consider requesting for your Social Security Earnings contained in your Social Security Records. Lastly, if you do have a CPA or tax planner, you could ask if he or she has a copy on file.

On the internet, you find many complaints regarding this issue. Unknown to the individuals behind these complaints, there is an easy and simple fix. As we progress in this guide, we will shed more light on this widespread issue and how it can be tackled.

How to File Back Taxes Without Records?

No record? Not a problem! You can still file back taxes provided you know exactly what to do. The process, you will later discover, is very straightforward. Below is how to go about the process:

  1. The first step to take is to reach out to the IRS to find out what has been relayed to them under your SSN. Anyone who has provided you with forms such as a W-2 or a 1099 has taken the info to the IRS, and they can compare it with your SSN. There exist other items that would be relayed to the IRS as well, and you could easily fail to remember as time passes without filing a return.

If you haven’t filed a tax return for some reason, you will receive a notification from the IRS. This notice is regarded as a “matching notice” because they are aware that you are yet to file a return after receiving an income.

  1. Determine your taxable income by summing up your monthly living expenses, such as mortgage payment, rent, childcare, utility, and any other thing you pay for each month. For example, if you have monthly expenses of $4,000, your annual income should likely be around $48,000 ($4,000 × 12).
  1. Check out your bank statements to determine your overall deposit for the year.
  1. Sit down and ask yourselves, is this return justifiable? Was it calculated according to some logic? The IRS is well aware of the cost of living in every area of the country, and they carry out a “lifestyle appraisal” on returns that are being audited, where they think income has not been well-reported. The tax return must showcase your style of living, including conditions around the time you were filing.

Can I File Back Taxes Myself?

If you are to file back your taxes and you don’t, you will be flagged by IRS. The agency has a record of taxpayers who fail to do the needful, so you shouldn’t be confident of getting away. Once you are caught, be rest assured that there will be consequences and lots of complications. It has been observed that some taxpayers aren’t sure if they should be the ones filing back their taxes or some hired professional.

You can file back taxes yourself, but to be on the safer side, you should hire an expert. The IRS takes time to scrutinize your returns and will spot even the tiniest errors. To avoid any errors in your returns, it is surely a wise decision to get the help of an expert to prevent such occurrence.

An expert knows what to do, the right information and forms needed for the task, and the appropriate unit to submit the return to. In addition, an expert can also handle related compliance issues and even communicate with the IRS. Are you confident in executing these tasks without making a simple mistake? If you are, you can go ahead and file back your taxes without help. On the other hand, you should get help if you aren’t confident in your skills.

Do I File Taxes if I Had No Income?

What is a tax? A tax is simply an obligatory donation to state revenue imposed by the government on workers’ earnings, including business profits. In this light, does it means that you are exempted from filing taxes if you haven’t had an income?

If you had no income in the last tax year, you are exempted from filing a tax return. You should also note that the IRS has minimum income requirements modified each year according to inflation, tax status, etc. If your income falls below the requirement, you are not obligated to file a tax return.

However, there is a reason you would want to file even if you had zero or no income. Filing a tax return with zero or no income will make you eligible to claim certain tax refundable credits. So think twice before you decide not to file.

Cumulative Statistics Comparing 7/26/2019 and 7/24/2020:

Individual Income Tax Returns:20192020% Change
Total Returns Received146,342,000152,875,0004.5
Total Returns Processed145,750,000146,556,0000.6
E-filing Receipts:
Tax Professionals74,455,00074,125,000-0.4
Web Usage:
Visits to IRS.gov528,394,0001,397,638,000164.5
Total Refunds:
Amount$291.183 Billion$282.033
Average refund$2,741$2,741
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Average refund

How Many Years Can You Go Back and File Taxes?

This remains one of the most common questions on the lips of taxpayers with back return. The answer to this query lies in a simple IRS policy statement.

According to the IRS policy statement 5-133, taxpayers must file six years of back tax returns to be in good terms with the agency. Furthermore, the policy outlines that the IRS team will have to authorize any change from that rule.

Mind you, sometimes IRS heads will ask for task returns from over six years ago, though this hinges on the circumstances. Below are some reasons why the IRS will request returns dating more than six years back.

  • There exist a huge potential tax bill on the stale returns.
  • There are business returns involved.
  • There is a revenue office taking care of the case.

Some taxpayers file taxes without keeping track of it, while other individuals adopt some tools that help them track their tax returns and provides them with a confirmation as soon as the IRS gets it. It would be best if you strived to become the latter category of individuals. Here is how to know if the IRS has gotten your tax returns.

collections and refunds, by type of tax, fiscal years 2018 and 2019

How Do I File Previous Year’s Taxes?

According to the IRS, the best way to file taxes is yearly and on time, even when you can’t pay all the due taxes. Even if you have no owed taxes, you may restrict your ability to acquire refunds owed to you by refusing to file your tax returns on time. If peradventure you failed to file a tax in the previous year, below is how to get it done.

  1. Go to the IRS website
  2. Complete the forms
  3. Evaluate taxes owed by you or refunds that are yours
  4. Send the tax returns through mail
  5. File an online payment agreement

Let’s look at the above mentioned more closely:

Go to the IRS website:

Visit the IRS website ( The next thing to do is to get and print the right tax forms alongside instructions for the year. Have it in mind that tax laws and forms aren’t always the same, so you will require the right year’s forms.

Complete the forms:

Now that you have the necessary forms, the next step is to fill them out. When filling out the forms, ensure you add all W-2 incomes 1099 income, capital gains, losses, including deductions that are present on the right schedules.

Evaluate taxes owed by you or refunds that are yours:

To know the taxes you owe, including the entitled refunds, you need to calculate. That is exactly what you will do next. You have three years from the actual date the tax return was due to file for a refund. After the deadline has passed, you won’t be able to claim the refund.

Send the tax returns through mail:

The next step to take is to send the tax returns through the mail to the address you see on the instructions. You cannot file the previous year’s tax returns; you must ensure that they are mailed.

File an online payment agreement:

If what you owe is below $ 25,000 in back taxes but you can’t afford to pay it at that time, you are advised to file an online payment agreement. If lucky, you may be given a payment schedule. This won’t keep the penalties at bay but will stop the placement of liens on your bank accounts, including other assets.

What Happens if I File My Taxes Late, and I’m Due for a Refund?

When it comes to filing taxes, there are a plethora of questions taxpayers ask each day. These questions cover areas ranging from how to file taxes without records, the process of filing taxes, red flags for an IRS audit, and so on. Taxpayers are also eager to know the outcome of filing a tax late when due for a refund. What happens in such a scenario is quite simple.

Filing your taxes late is something the IRS frowns at. You will be penalized for doing such. However, if you are due for a refund and you file your taxes late, in accordance with the IRS guideline, there will be no consequences.

You should rejoice anyways because you won’t get your refund until you file your taxes. That remains the only consequence that comes with taking such action. It takes 21 days to get your refund. But if it is an Earned Income Tax Credit you are claiming, it usually takes longer than that.

You can monitor the status of your refund by making use of the IRS’ online tracking tool. Finally, it is important you note that, if you are very late in filing, for instance, three years late, your refund may vanish. So ensure you claim your refund before it is too late.

Can I File My Taxes Again if I Made a Mistake?

When the tax season arrives, you find taxpayers hurrying to file their tax for two reasons. First off, the hurry is to claim any refund they may be entitled to. Second, because it is the best way to lessen the risk of taxpayer identity theft. While the rush is on, mistakes can happen. It may be a mathematical mistake, an omission, or something else. When you notice these mistakes, do you file your taxes again?

You can’t file a new tax return and assume the IRS will know it’s the correct one. The right steps need to be followed. The action you’ll take depends on the type of mistake made. If it is a mathematical mistake, the IRS will sort it out automatically. On the other hand, if it is a huge mistake, you may need to correct it via an amended return process.

The comprehensive IRS site has an effective questionnaire that guides you through the question, “should I file an amended return?” You will be asked several questions, and based on the provided answers, the automated assistant will inform you if you need to file the amended return or not.

In a situation where you failed to submit a document or omitted something, the IRS will send you a notice. These notifications will inform you of the form you need to file to correct your mistake. You will be provided with a deadline which can be 20 t0 30 days from the day the letter was sent, to do the needful.

What is an acceptable amount to cheat on income taxes

What Happens if You Make an Honest Mistake on Your Taxes?

You discovered that you made an honest mistake on your taxes, and you are afraid of what might happen. Will the IRS forgive this mistake? Or will it ensure that you are punished?

If the mistake you made was an honest one, the IRS could decide to spare you from any form of punishment. Normally, the punishments are kept for tax cheats who attempt to play a fast one on the government.

Mistakes happen a lot when filing a tax return. These mistakes can either be honest or fraudulent. For instance, if you made a little mathematical error, you will be pardoned, and the IRS won’t take action against you. In fact, the agency will forward to you a letter and will automatically fix the mistake.

How Will I Know if I Made a Mistake on My Taxes?

When it comes to filing returns, several taxpayers make lots of mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes are known, while sometimes they aren’t. As a taxpayer who wants to be on good terms with the IRS, you would definitely want to know when you make certain mistakes on your taxes.

Several minor mistakes are usually noticed and corrected by the IRS. These mistakes range from little omissions, mathematical errors, etc. Mind you; the mistakes won’t be corrected without your awareness. First off, the IRS will send you an email informing you of the error before going ahead to correct it automatically. In addition, you can spot mistakes on your taxes if you scrutinize the documents.

If the mistake made is one that reported less earning or reduced tax liability, you might be slapped with fines and interests. However, if your amendment lessens your liability, you could be refunded.

If you made a huge mistake and you wish to correct it, you can do so using an IRS Form 1040X. You will have to give information from your actual tax return, including info regarding the modifications you are carrying out and why you are making such changes. After completing it, forward the form to the IRS.

What Is the Failure to File Penalty?

Sanctions are meted out to anyone who goes contrary to the law. In the US, income earners and business owners are obligated to report their total income on their federal income tax returns. It is a law. Failure to adhere to that simple instruction could lead to severe punishment on whoever is found guilty. That is where the failure to file penalty comes in.

The failure to file penalty, which is synonymous to the late filing penalty, is typically 5% of the tax you owe for each month or a section of a month your return is overdue. Furthermore, the max late filing penalty is 25%. In situations whereby your return is over 60 days overdue, the minimum failure to file penalty is $435, or the tax you owe, whichever is the least.

Before you begin to shiver at this information, there is good news. You might escape the penalty if you have a good reason for failing to file your tax at the appropriate time. You can affix a statement to your return, describing the reason behind the act. Do not mistake the late penalty fee with the late payment penalty. The late payment penalty is for individuals who fail to submit their form 1040, including other significant tax documents early.

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