Obtaining Prior Year Tax Information
The ability to get prior year tax information from the IRS is virtually a guarantee due to the fact that the IRS is required to keep tax returns on file for seven years. As with most actions related to the IRS there is a form that is required to fill out in order to obtain prior tax information. This is Form 4506 that can be found by completing a simple form search on the IRS website. The IRS will not provide prior tax information without filling out a hard copy of Form 4506.
Seal of the United States Internal Revenue Service. The design is the same as the Treasury seal with an IRS inscription. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The form is self explanatory and should be filled out to include the exact information from the tax return of the prior year. At the very least, the name and social security number should match as well as the spousal information if the return was filed jointly. Additional information should include the prior year tax form such as Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ. Form 4506 can be completed regardless of a recent divorce without spousal consent. One of the final requests on the form is to fill out the prior year tax information being requested such as 12/31/2012.
The required fee for Form 4506 as of 2012 is $57 in the form of check or money order payable to the US Treasury that is required when mailing the form to the appropriate IRS office. However, tax filers that used Turbo Tax 2013 have the distinct advantage of obtaining prior year tax information at no cost. This free service is included with the use of Turbo Tax 2013 Basic, Deluxe, Premier, Home & Business, or Freedom Edition. Even greater is the use of the online edition of Turbo Tax 2013 that will automatically look up prior year tax information for a user to view or print.
There are various tax credits that are worth knowing about, and if you claim one and are eligible, you can receive a refund even after you have your tax liability lowered to zero.
When preparing your 2011 Federal income tax return, consider the following four tax credits:
- If you earn less than $49,078, you can take advantage of the earned income tax credit, and the amount can be up to $5,751 depending on your age, income and number of qualifying children. Many workers are seeing this for the first time, becuase of a drop in wages or earnings. IRS publication 596 has more details.
- If you have expenses due to caring for a qualified child under 13 or a disabled spouse, while you were looking for work or working, you can take advantage of the child and dependent care credit. IRS publication 503 has more information.
- If you have a qualifying child, the child tax credit can help you, and it allows $1,000 for each qualifying child. You are able to claim the child and dependent care credit as well as this, if applicable and IRS publication 972 has more details.
- Saver’s credit, or retirement savings contribution credit can help you save for retirement, if your earnings are lower. This is also in addition to any other tax savings applicable to your situation, and you may qualify if you contribute to a 401K, IRA or other workplace plan. IRS publiation 590 has more details.
Check your tax form or turbo tax form carefully, although depending on your individual situation, there may be other applicable tax credits you can take advantage of. The IRS can help you, either online or over the phone at 1-800-TAX-FORM.