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Haven’t Filed a Tax Return Lately? You Can Still Get a Refund

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Should you owe cash to the IRS, submitting a tax return after the deadline can create severe complications. However in the event you’re due a refund, there’s a good likelihood the IRS will gladly pay you — even in the event you’re a few years behind. Listed below are 5 issues tax professionals say you must know.

1. You can return solely Three years

Should you might have had a tax refund in 2001, however didn’t file a tax return that 12 months to assert it, you will have to let it go, Elsa. The IRS forks over tax refunds normally just for the final three tax years, says David Beck, a licensed public accountant in Uniondale, New York. Which means missed refunds from 2016, 2017 or 2018 might nonetheless be nonetheless honest recreation.

“Should you haven’t claimed cash that you simply paid to the IRS inside three years of paying it, you principally give up that proper,” Beck says.

2. Use the proper 12 months’s varieties

To reel in that tax refund from a prior tax 12 months, you’ll must file a tax return for that 12 months. Hold your dates and your paperwork straight.

Which means don’t use 2019 tax varieties to assert a refund for a totally different 12 months, says Delmer Thomas Grigsby Jr., an enrolled agent at Pogogeff & Firm in Fort Lee, New Jersey. If you must file a 2017 tax return so you’ll be able to lastly get your tax refund for that 12 months, for instance, do it utilizing the tax guidelines and varieties for 2017.

And don’t overlook about your state tax return. “Usually talking, the states comply with the federal in regard to the three-year look again,” Grigsby says. You’ll want to take a look at the state’s submitting directions for prior years, he provides.

3. Put together to go old-fashioned

You might must print and snail mail your prior-year tax return to get your refund. “You solely get to electronically file two years previous to the present 12 months,” Beck says. You may additionally be caught having to monitor the standing of your tax refund for about six weeks.

4. A tax refund will not be the one reward

Apart from the cash, there could also be two different benefits to submitting previous tax returns.

First, it might assist preserve the IRS out of your hair later. The IRS typically has solely three years to audit a tax return, nevertheless it has eternally to evaluate taxes when a return hasn’t been filed, Grigsby says.

Second, it could assist forestall issues with mortgage functions, Social Safety or sure advantages that require copies of your tax returns to be able to declare. Grigsby says he not too long ago had a shopper who realized that the arduous manner.

“The state principally comes and says, ‘Hey, effectively, you need a verify from us? We’re not going to do something until there’s a tax return.’”

5. Don’t concern the failure-to-file penalty

Within the tax realm, foot-dragging could be costly: IRS penalties for failing to file a tax return can run into the lots of of {dollars}. However right here’s some excellent news: “That solely applies to individuals who owe cash,” Beck says. “So in the event you’re due a refund, you’re due a refund and there’s no penalty at any time.”

Claiming an previous refund shouldn’t set off a revenge audit or suspicious hassles from the IRS, both, Grigsby provides. “So long as the tax return is ready precisely and fully, there’s no concern available,” he says.

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