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Can You E-File Prior Year Returns?

File a late tax return with PriorTax.

Previous year tax returns can’t be e-filed, but they can be prepared online

You cannot e-file a prior year tax return. However, you can prepare prior year returns on PriorTax and send your printed return copy in the mail, to the IRS.

You can only “e-file” a tax return (rather than sending in a copy of your prepared return) between mid-January when e-file opens and mid-October when it closes, the year after the tax year in question. Each year the IRS shuts down their e-file system in mid-October, usually on October 15. The October deadline explains why you will need to send in a physical copy of your return to the IRS.

How to file a prior year tax return

Even though your return is already late, you should still submit it. If you’re due a refund from the last three years (2011, 2010, or 2009 taxes) you will be able to receive that money. And if you owe money, you will be able to minimize your penalties and interest by filing sooner rather than later.

One of the greatest challenges of filing late taxes is gathering all the old documents you need to fill out your return. If you’ve kept good records and you have all of those documents handy – great! You can get started right away. But if you’ve lost the necessary documents you may have to retrieve transcripts of them from the IRS.

Even though you can’t e-file a prior year return anymore, you can still prepare it online with PriorTax. Other companies, such as TurboTax, don’t allow you to prepare a return from a previous year online. They make you purchase prior year software and install it on your computer.

With PriorTax you can completely prepare your return online. Once it’s finished all you have to do is print it out, sign it, and mail it in to the IRS.  The PriorTax application will find every credit and deduction from the year that you are filing to make sure that you get the biggest refund possible. Our experts are knowledgeable in all aspects of late taxes and available to answer your questions via phone, live chat, and email.

Get started on your late tax return right away. It’s faster, safer, easier, greener, and more accurate than paper filing.

Photo via JD Hancock on Flickr.

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8 Responses to “Can You E-File Prior Year Returns?”

  1. kyle says:

    Wrong! Call the irs.. some people if not most are eligable for e-file for past 3 years as long as they owe you..if you owe them thats a differant story..dont believe me?? I dont care..call the irs.i just did ..after 30 min hold time i verified i am eligible to file 2011 tax return..today on march 25,2013. The problem is finding a company to do this.

  2. kyle says:

    What a lot of help your app could be when your giving out wrong info..lol

  3. Dionne Ford says:

    Yes, prior year taxes can be e-filed for past 3 years. The new Mef system has made this possible. I am a tax preparer and my firm does it everyday….so kyle you are absolutely right!!!!

  4. brian says:

    this is great news but exactly how can we efile prior year taxes (if the irs owes me money)

    • admin says:

      Hi Brian,
      You can create an account on our website and get started filing your return for the selected prior year. Here is the link to get started; https://www.priortax.com/Tax2012/?CreateAccount

      While there, simply select the tax year you need to file for in the drop down menu. Once you create a user ID and password, you can start filing in your tax information.

      You have three years to claim your refund from the IRS (for example, the deadline to receive 2010 refunds is April 15,2014).

  5. Melissa says:

    I am having no luck efiling for 2010. I have been told by the IRS it can still be efiled, but to do it soon!

    • admin says:

      Hi Melissa,
      You can not e-file (electronically submit) your late 2010 return to the IRS. You’ll have to prepare the return (you can do this by clicking tax year 2010 from the drop down menu on our create an account page), once it’s prepared, you can print it out and then will have to mail it to the IRS.

      The IRS only accepts e-filed current year returns (that means you can file your 2013 taxes online) but for any prior year, you’ll have to mail it in. If you need any help with filing with us, you can always contact one of our tax experts.
      Best of luck!

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