Your 2011 Taxes: Tips For Getting Last Year’s Return

To prepare your 2011 taxes, you might need information from last year’s return.  Below are 9 tips you can follow if you are using a previous return to file a present one.

1. You have three methods for obtaining previous returns:  asking for one over the Internet, making a telephone call, or initiating a request through snail mail.

2. You will not get charged a fee for your transcript, even if it is 3 years old, (as that is ultimate cap for receiving previous returns).

3. The transcript you receive will show most of the items you originally filed.    Assuming it was filed properly, it will not display any changes.

4. However, if a transcript is considered a “tax account,” it will show any changes made by you or the Internal Revenue Service.  Your basic data, such as marital status or gross income, will still remain intact.

5. IRS.gov is the best place to look if you want to order a transcript online.  Alternatively, you can call the IRS and follow the automated prompts.

6. To get the 1040 or any of its variants, you will have to complete the 4506T-EZ application.   If you are a business in need of such a form, you will need to complete the 4506T application, as it is specially designated for the self-employed.

7. Expect to receive your transcript in five to ten business days.  This period starts from the date that the IRS receives your inquiry.  For 1040 inquiries, the process may take up to 30 business days.

8. For those in need of a more extensive tax return, they will have to pay $57 for a complete copy.  They must also complete the 4506 application and mail it in.  Full tax returns are available for up to six years, making things easier if you owe back taxes.  Either way, you will have to wait up to 60 days for your copy.

9. To reiterate, IRS.gov can be very helpful for locating past returns.  This is because they contain all the forms you need for filing.

PeteYour 2011 Taxes: Tips For Getting Last Year’s Return