Tax News Blog

20 Facts About Filing an Amended Prior Year Tax Return

Posted by admin on February 7, 2017
Last modified: February 7, 2017

Did you take the wrong step with your tax return? Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Mistakes happen. If you filed your tax return with incorrect or missing information, the IRS will give you a chance to fix your mishap. Before insisting you 100% need to amend your return, though, take a look at our list of when you should, when you shouldn’t, and other need-to-know info about doing so.

 

What it is and where to file

1.Another name for an amended tax return is 1040X.

2.If you are amending multiple tax returns at once, you will need a prepared 1040X for each one. They will also need to be mailed in separate envelopes to the IRS.

3.You can prepare your amended tax return with PriorTax whether you filed your original return with us or a different tax preparer.

4.The address to mail your amended tax return is:

Department of the Treasury

Internal Revenue Service

Austin, Texas 73301-0215

Or if you are using a private delivery service:

Internal Revenue Service

3651 South I-H 35, Stop 6055 AUSC

Austin, Texas 78741

 

Fixing Information VS. Adding Additional Information

5.You don’t need to file an amended return for calculation mistakes. The IRS has calculators of their own which will update the information automatically on your return. Read the rest of this entry »

Someone Used My Social Security Number to File Taxes – What Should I Do?

Posted by admin on January 10, 2017
Last modified: January 25, 2017

Victim of identity theft? Don’t let panic get the best of you.

After entering your tax information, you finally hit the e-file button, only to have your return rejected by the IRS. The reason; a tax return has already been filed with your social security number!

There’s a sinking feeling in your gut and an enveloping sense of dread. What do you do? How will you ever get your refund money now? Remain Calm. You’ll get through this.

 

Here’s what you should do now

Step #1

The first thing to do is double check all of the information on your return, especially your name and Social Security number and those of your spouse and dependents. Sometimes this error can be caused by a simple typo. Read the rest of this entry »

Calculate Your Prior Year Tax Refunds with Tax Calculators

Posted by Michelle O'Brien on January 5, 2017
Last modified: January 13, 2017

The IRS has never been keen on surprises. Know what to expect.

Whether you’re slightly behind on your taxes or up to date and ready to conquer tax season 2017, it’s nice to have a starting point. Taxes are intimidating if you go into it not knowing whether you owe the IRS or can expect a refund. Why not figure that out first?

 

Accessing prior year tax calculators online

With PriorTax, you can find out what your tax refund will be before you even think about the IRS. You don’t even need to create an account or enter any personal information at all. In fact it’s completely anonymous. And did I mention it’s 100% free?

We offer tax calculators dating back to 2011. You can access any of them by clicking the buttons below: Read the rest of this entry »

What Does Being Audited By The IRS Mean?

Posted by Michelle O'Brien on December 23, 2016
Last modified: December 23, 2016

Feel like the IRS has all eyes on you?

Think of filing your taxes as going through security at an airport. Your tax return is you. The security checkpoint is the IRS. Just like you can be stopped while going through security, your tax return can be stopped by the IRS. With a security checkpoint, you’re either stopped because you were the lucky number of the hour or because something triggered suspicion. The same goes for your tax return and the next step is an IRS audit.

 

What is an audit?

An audit is simply an examination of the information you reported on the tax return you filed for a specific year. Contrary to popular belief, the IRS is not employed with millions of accountants checking each return that comes through their doors. In fact, much of the processing is computerized now. You can imagine how technology can be manipulated a bit by fraud accounts and identity theft. Audits are necessary to help stop that from occurring as well.

 

What triggers your return for an audit?

Just like at the airport security check, the IRS can stop a tax return randomly or for suspicious activity. Here is a list of the most common audit triggers we’ve come across: Read the rest of this entry »

IRS Address to File a Late Tax Return

Posted by admin on December 15, 2016
Last modified: January 13, 2017

If you need to file a prior year tax return, you’ll have to mail it to the IRS…

Still need to get caught up on a prior year tax return? You’ll most likely need to paper file it. If this is the case, you’ll need the IRS address to send your return to.

You’ll be able to prepare any previous year tax return online, but you won’t be able to electronically file it. You’ll need to mail it to the IRS.

IRS address to file a late tax return

The address you’ll send your prior year tax return to will depend on what state you live in. Below, are five separate addresses on where to send a late tax return to. Please note that if you received a notice from the IRS with an alternate address, you should use that one.  Read the rest of this entry »

Student Loan Interest Deduction Income Limit

Posted by admin on December 15, 2016
Last modified: December 16, 2016

Strapped for cash as a recent grad? See if you qualify for a student loan interest deduction.

College is over and you’ve been blasted with a taste of reality…or should I say adulthood? It’s tough but you’ll get through it. Even the IRS is on your side with certain deductions available to those of us who used our after-high school lives to pick up a college education. College is expensive. The student loan interest deduction can help you out a bit. Let’s see if you’re eligible.

Are there income limits?

Here are the income limits that apply to the student loan interest deduction. Note that prior tax years have slightly different income limits:

Single filers with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) below $80,000 and married couples filing jointly with incomes below $160,000 can take the full deduction.

Taxpayers whose MAGIs are above these limits can only take a reduced deduction or no deduction at all. The deduction phases out between MAGIs of $65,000 and $80,000 for single filers. For married couples filing jointly, the deduction phases out between MAGIs of $130,000 and $160,000. Read the rest of this entry »

Itemized Deductions vs. the Standard Deduction

Posted by admin on November 29, 2016
Last modified: January 5, 2017

What is the difference between claiming the standard deduction and itemizing deductions?

In general terms, a deduction is a certain amount you are allowed to exclude from your income. This means that you are taxed on a lower amount of income, and thus pay less in taxes. While not as valuable as tax credits – which directly decrease your tax liability – deductions can still reduce your tax burden significantly.

There are two ways to claim deductions.

  1. Itemize deductions. Add up all of your allowable expenses and subtract them from your income.
  2. Claim the standard deduction. Deduct the basic amount available to everyone.

While preparing your taxes you need to figure out whether you get a bigger tax break from itemizing your deductions or claiming the standard deduction. Most people end up claiming the standard deduction, but some people have enough allowable expenses to make it worth their while to itemize deductions.

The Standard Deduction

The standard deduction is a fixed dollar amount that reduces the amount of income on which you are taxed. The amount of the standard deduction depends on your filing status and whether you can be claimed as a dependent on another return. For the 2013 tax year, for example, the standard deduction is
Read the rest of this entry »

1099-C Defined: Handling Past Due Debt

Posted by Michelle O'Brien on November 15, 2016
Last modified: December 21, 2016

So you’ve accrued a bit of debt. It’s not the end of the world.

Debt is stressful, overbearing and can build up quickly. When this happens, you may need to eliminate it altogether. In a situation when you need to cancel your debt completely, you would contact your creditor and they’d issue you form 1099-C, as shown below.

What is form 1099-C?

The 1099-C is also known as the Cancellation of Debt. The most common reasons that you would receive this form are as follows:

  • You’ve not made any payment on a debt for at least three years and there has been no collection activity for the past year.
  • You negotiated a settlement to pay your debt for less than the amount you owed and the lender/creditor forgave the remaining amount.
  • You sold a home in a short sale where the lender/creditor agreed to accept less than the full amount due to them
  • You’ve owned a home that entered into foreclosure with a deficiency (the difference between the value of the home and your debt on it) which was forgiven or remains unpaid.

What does each box on the 1099-C mean?

Tax forms, in general, are intimidating to most of us. The tricky language and minuscule text paired with our immediate panic can send anyone into a frenzy. Let’s break this form down box by box and see if all your questions can’t be answered. Read the rest of this entry »

Can I Deduct Overlooked Expenses from Previous Years on This Year’s Taxes?

Posted by Michelle O'Brien on October 26, 2016
Last modified: December 21, 2016

Lumping overlooked tax deductions in with this year’s return is hardly an option.

Generally speaking, you cannot deduct expenses from a previous year on this year’s tax return. You can only deduct expenses in the year that you paid for them.

Each tax return reports finances for its own year and each of those years needs to be kept separate. Deductions, income or anything else from a previous year cannot be claimed with the current year’s tax information.

*Note: One of the exceptions to this rule is the tuition and fees deduction. This tax break allows you to claim qualified education expenses from the previous year as long as they were for school sessions that began in January-March of the tax year you are currently filing for.

File an amended return if you can

If you’re completely gung ho on finding a Plan B, we may have a solution for you. You can file an amended tax return if you discover a tax deduction you missed in a previous year. What’s the catch? It needs to be a completely legitimate expense. On top of that, it needs to be within the three-year time frame from the deadline date the original tax return was due.

To file an amended return, here’s what you should do: Read the rest of this entry »

How Far Back Can I File Prior Year Taxes?

Posted by admin on October 26, 2016
Last modified: January 13, 2017

So, you ran a little late and forgot to file a prior year tax return?

Are you wondering if you can file a tax return all the way back, say, 6 years? The answer is yes, you can! This should not be confused with e-filing. The IRS has electronic filing available through October of the year your tax return is due. After that, taxpayers must paper file their returns; no exceptions. The good news? Paper filing your tax return is pretty much just as easy as e-filing. Instead of submitting your tax return online, you’ll need to print and sign it. Then, all you have to do it mail it to the IRS. Easy, right? You can file prior year taxes dating back to 2005 with PriorTax.

File prior year taxes for 2005-2015 on PriorTax

By law, the IRS may assess penalties to taxpayers for both failing to file a tax return and for failing to pay taxes they owe by the deadline. Therefore, if you have not filed taxes from 2005, 2006, etc. it’s best do so now (or as soon as possible) on PriorTax.

How many years back can you get a tax refund?

The IRS Statute of Limitations allows you three years from the filing deadline to file your prior year return and claim your refund. For example, the last day to claim your tax refund for the 2013 tax year is April 15, 2017. This is because the deadline date was April 15, 2014.

Keep in mind that they also have the same amount of time to audit you and up to ten years to collect any unpaid tax.

Read the rest of this entry »