Unfortunately, there is a limit to how old you can file a tax return to request refunds and tax credits. This IRS only allows you to apply for tax refunds and credits within three years of the original due date of the tax return. If you don't file your return within three years of the due date, you could end up not receiving a tax refund because you can no longer apply for lucrative tax credits or any additional withholding from your paycheck. The IRS requires taxpayers to file only one federal tax return, even if they had several jobs during the tax filing year.
However, you may need to file several state returns depending on the states where you earned income. You risk losing your refund if you don't file your return. If you are due a refund for withholding or estimated taxes, you must file your return to claim it within 3 years of the due date of the return. The same rule applies to the right to apply for tax credits, such as the earned income credit.
Form 4506-T allows you to request a transcript of your tax return information, even if you haven't filed a tax return. If you are having difficulty preparing your return, you may be eligible for help through the Voluntary Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. Prepare and electronically file your federal and state returns before Tax Day so you don't have to do the hard work of calculating taxes and mailing your information. The tax season (preparing and electronically filing returns for the previous tax or calendar year) runs from January 1 to October 15 of any current year.
However, the IRS only allows you to apply for tax refunds and credits within three years of the original due date of the tax return. Self-employed people have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes through their individual income tax returns. In these cases, filing a tax return could result in a tax refund that deposits money into your bank account. In addition, they must pay taxes on their unemployment benefits regardless of whether they worked during that tax year.
Review the tax forms you collect for the year of the tax return you file to make sure you're using the correct ones. If you must file an individual income tax return for a previous year, the forms are listed below by tax year.