- 1). File your prior year return before the three-year statute of expiration in order to claim a refund for that tax year. For example, in order for a taxpayer to claim a refund for the tax year 2006, he or she must file the return on or before the deadline for tax year 2009 returns (April 15th 2010 ). If not, the taxpayer forfeits his right to receive a refund. The statute is extended for taxpayers who have made payments on a tax debt owed, in which case the statute is extended to the date of the last payment. Also, if you owe additional tax from three years ago, penalty and interest will begin to accrue from the date the return was due, not the date it was filed.
- 2). Complete your IRS return using the appropriate prior year tax form. Prior year tax forms and instructions can be downloaded at irs.gov (see Resources). In addition, you can order IRS tax forms by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM. If you need help completing the form, call the IRS Customer Service Line at 1-800-829-1040 between the hours of 7am and 10pm. You can also go to a local IRS walk-in office to get help completing your return.
- 3). Mail your completed return to the IRS office responsible for processing returns in your area. If you are not sure, which office processes returns for your area, Logon to irs.gov for a complete list. Previous year returns cannot be filed electronically and therefore, must be mailed. If you owe tax, include a check or money with your return and make it payable to the Department of Treasury. Also, include your social security number, daytime phone number, form series (1040), and name on the check or money order. If you cannot afford to pay the tax in full, include Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, with your return. The cost to set up the installment agreement is $105 dollars unless you elect to allow the IRS take the monthly payment amount directly out of your bank account in which case the cost is reduced to $52.
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