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October 2020

Need to Recover Tax Returns From Previous Years? Here’s What to Do

Need to Recover Tax Returns From Previous Years? Here’s What to Do

In theory, you are supposed to keep copies of your tax returns and all supporting documents for at least three years. If you lost your tax returns, or you couldn’t keep them for any other reason, don’t worry. These are your options if you need tax returns from previous years.

Ask Your Tax Preparer or Software Provider

If you work with a software provider or a tax preparer, the first step is asking them. They may be able to provide you with copies of past tax returns.

Request a Transcript

If you don’t work with a software provider or tax preparer, or if they don’t have copies of your returns, you can request a tax transcript from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This document is free but conceals some personal information to protect the identity of taxpayers. Other than that, all financial entries are fully visible. There are three ways to request a transcript:

  • Online: Use the tool Get Transcript to view, print, or download all types of transcripts. If you prefer so, you can also decide to get your transcript by traditional mail (in that case, consider that it may take five to 10 days for it to arrive).
  • By phone: Call the IRS at 800-908-9946.
  • By mail: Complete and send forms 4506-T (to request a transcript of your tax return) or 4506-T-EZ (to request other tax records such as W-2 information or 1099 information, among others).

Request a Copy of Your Tax Return

To get a copy of your tax return, complete Form 4506 and mail it to the IRS that appears on the form. Keep in mind that a fee of $50 for each copy applies and that it may take the IRS up to 75 days to process your request. Copies are available for the current tax year and up to six years prior.

More Tax Tips

Learning more about taxes is well worth the effort: It can save you time, money, and frustration! Check out these previous posts to learn more about deductions, deadlines, tax credits, and everything in between:

Get Advice From the Experts at JT Tax Services

Our experts at JT Tax Services stand ready to meet all your tax needs. We help you file your taxes with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with federal and state tax regulations.

We are located in Oxnard, California. Contact us by email, telephone (805-984-8890), or through our social media accounts on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to learn more about our services.

Phishing and Taxes: Everything You Need to Know

Phishing and Taxes: Everything You Need to Know

Fraudsters evolve with the times, so it’s no surprise that they are exploiting the internet to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. Phishing is one of the favorite tactics of cybercriminals, who often (and illegally) mention taxes or pose as tax institutions as part of the ruse.

Keep reading to learn more about phishing and to discover ways to protect yourself against this threat.

What Is Phishing?

Phishing is a type of scam where cybercriminals pose as trustworthy institutions (such as banks or the IRS itself) and send malicious emails or create fake websites with the intent of luring you into providing your personal information.

How to Protect Yourself Against Phishing

Phishing can be particularly insidious, but these simple steps go a long way toward avoiding falling prey to cybercriminals.

  • Be wary of unsolicited emails, social media messages, or text messages.
  • Don’t reply to suspect messages.
  • Bad grammar and poor spelling are some tell-tale signs of fraud.
  • Scare tactics and threats are red flags that should put you on alert.
  • If you receive a suspect email, don’t open any attachments and don’t click on any links.

Keep in mind that phishing may assume many forms. For example, you may encounter it as messages that pop up when you open a website. It may even occur as phone and VoIP calls, so make sure to keep your guard up at all times.

How to Report Phishing Attempts

We repeat this tip from the previous section because it’s extremely important: don’t reply to suspect emails.

If the email is tax-related, forward it to the IRS at (phishing@irs.gov) preferably with the full email headers.

If you experience a monetary loss due to an IRS-related phishing incident, you should report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGA) and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

In the case of text messages, you can forward the text to the IRS at 202-552-1226 and, if possible, forward the originating number in a separate message.

Get Advice From the Experts at JT Tax Services

At JT Tax Services we have the experience, the knowledge, and the drive to meet all your tax needs. We help you file your taxes with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with federal and state tax regulations.

We are located in Oxnard, California. Contact us by email, telephone (805-984-8890), or through our social media accounts on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to learn more about our services.

Do You Know Your Correct Tax Filing Status?

Do You Know Your Correct Tax Filing Status?

Knowing your correct tax filing status is essential because it determines the amount of tax you should pay, the credits you can claim, and your standard deduction amount, among other things.

Generally speaking, your status depends on whether you are married or single on December 31. That fact determines your status for the whole year.

In some cases, more than one filing status may apply (for example, married filing separately or jointly). In those cases, you can choose the status that allows you to pay the least amount of tax.

What Are the 5 Filing Statuses?

  • Single: this is normally the correct status if you are unmarried, divorced, or legally separated under a divorce or separate maintenance decree governed by state law.
  • Married filing jointly: if you are married, you can file together with your spouse. When a spouse passes away, the other person can normally file a joint return for that year.
  • Married filing separately: married couples may opt for filing separately. This option may result in a lower tax bill compared to filing jointly.
  • Head of household: if you are unmarried you may also qualify for this status, although special rules apply. One of the most basic is that you must have paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for themselves and a qualifying person living in the home for half the year.
  • Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child: this status applies to taxpayers whose spouse died during one of the previous two years and they have a dependent child. There are other conditions that may apply as well.

If you have trouble figuring out our filing status, you can use the online assistant What Is My Filing Status? Answer some easy questions and you’ll get your correct filing status at the end.

More Tips About Taxes

Learning more about taxes is well worth the effort: It can save you time, money, and frustration! Check out these previous posts to learn more about deductions, deadlines, tax credits, and everything in between:

Contact the Experts at JT Tax Services

Looking for expert, dependable advice on taxes? At JT Tax Services we have the experience, the knowledge, and the drive to assist you. We give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with all regulations.

We are located in Oxnard, California. Contact us today by email, telephone, or through our social media accounts on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to learn more about our services.