Finance Quick Answers
What should I do if I have not filed a federal tax return for a previous year or if I discover I made an error in a prior year?
If you discover that you were eligible for a tax credit or a refund you did not claim, you can file a tax return for three prior years or you can amend a return you have already filed within three prior years. For example, if you file a return and find out you could have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit for the past three years, you can still claim it by filing amended returns for the three years previous to the current tax season – as long as you do so by the current tax season filing deadline.
Taxpayers can contact the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-1040 or visit a local Tax Assistance Center for help with finding prior year forms.
Brenda Procter, M.S., Associate State Extension Specialist & Instructor, Personal Financial Planning, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Monday, March 21, 2011