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Hito_kun
Level 2

2019 was my first time filing federal tax; it was by mail and it hasn't been processed. Can I go ahead and file for 2020 electronically?

Hi,

I moved to the country recently, and for my 2019 Federal Tax Return my wife needed to apply for an ITIN, so we had to file by mail. This was in July.

She has her ITIN now (it finally arrived in late October), but the tax return hasn't been processed yet.

Can we go ahead and file for 2020? Or do we need to wait until we get 2019 cleared (or is it just a better idea)?

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
RayW7
Expert Alumni

2019 was my first time filing federal tax; it was by mail and it hasn't been processed. Can I go ahead and file for 2020 electronically?

Generally it is best not to file until the past return has been accepted.  The IRS takes a lot longer to process a mail in return so I would wait.

 

You may hear from the IRS before April 15th regarding your 2019 return. 

 

However, since it was for 2019 I would not delay filing my 2020 return on time or at least filing for an extension in order to avoid any penalties for this year.

 

 

 

 

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4 Replies
jc_penny
Level 3

2019 was my first time filing federal tax; it was by mail and it hasn't been processed. Can I go ahead and file for 2020 electronically?

IMO:  It would be best to file 2020 when that return is ready.  The IRS treats each return as independent even though there are numerous potential carry-forwards.  If, for some reason the 2019 filing changes the 2020 entries, you will still be allowed to amend this year's form when that information is received.

RayW7
Expert Alumni

2019 was my first time filing federal tax; it was by mail and it hasn't been processed. Can I go ahead and file for 2020 electronically?

Generally it is best not to file until the past return has been accepted.  The IRS takes a lot longer to process a mail in return so I would wait.

 

You may hear from the IRS before April 15th regarding your 2019 return. 

 

However, since it was for 2019 I would not delay filing my 2020 return on time or at least filing for an extension in order to avoid any penalties for this year.

 

 

 

 

kylecook82
Level 1

2019 was my first time filing federal tax; it was by mail and it hasn't been processed. Can I go ahead and file for 2020 electronically?

I have a similar question, but different details. I just mailed in my 2019 return this week, so it is not likely it will be processed by April 15th. I do not owe taxes on either the 2019 or 2020 return. My initial attempt to e-file my 2020 return was rejected since the 2019 AGI is not available in the IRS system to match. One recommendation I read was to enter a "0" for AGI and the other was to file my 2020 by mail. What would you recommend? 

JotikaT2
Employee Tax Expert

2019 was my first time filing federal tax; it was by mail and it hasn't been processed. Can I go ahead and file for 2020 electronically?

Since your 2019 return has not been processed yet, the IRS will not have the actual Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in their system yet and as such, on their records, your AGI does not exist yet.

 

I would recommend entering $0 for your AGI and submitting it electronically. This is the fastest way for your return to be processed.

 

Prior year Adjusted Gross Income without prior year tax return information

 

@kylecook82

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