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How far back can I file my taxes?

I have not filed my taxes since 2017.  So I missed 2018-2022 (5 years).  I do not owe taxes b/c I own rental property and b/c of expenses (depreciation) there is no taxable income.


I do want to get my taxes filed and have gotten my Quickbooks file up to date with all my rental income and expenses.  


I would also like to amend my 2017 returns.  I became a landlord in November 2017.  I received 1.5 months of rental payments from the person I bought my rental property from.  The prior owner wanted to stay until Dec 31st to facilitate his move.  I forgot to reflect that in my 2017 taxes.    Is it too much hassle to amend the returns now?  There might be some carry forward loss I could utilize.  


5 Replies

How far back can I file my taxes?

@burgerguy14 you can file all your back taxes .


if you owe for any year, you owe.


if you are due a refund for any year, there is a 3 year deadline to claim that refund, so for 2017-2019 the 3 year deadline has already passed, so the refund reuqest will be denined,  


that stated, if your adjusted gross income (line 11 for 2022) is less than your standard deduction, there is no filing requirement.  Read the link below 



How far back can I file my taxes?

In any case, you might be FAR better off going to a tax professional to prepare and file those past years of taxes.  They aren't too busy this time of year.


BUT IF you want to use TTX software:


1) The "Online"  TTX software can only be used for 2022 tax preparation, and can only be used up to mid-October of 2023.


2) The TTX "Desktop" software can be purchased and used for 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.  Only 2022 can be e-filed and the rest would have to be printed and mailed (separate envelopes) to the IRS, and separate ones to your state too if your state has an income tax.  The Desktop software requires a full MAC or Windows computer....(and 2019 software may disappear from availability sometime later this year.)

TurboTax 2021 Prior Year Tax Prep - File Past Years' Taxes (intuit.com)


3)  For years 2017 and 2018, you would have to go to the IRS website, download their PDF tax forms for those years, prepare them manually....then print and mail them in.   (OR, use a local Professional tax person).


____________*Answers are correct to the best of my knowledge when posted, but should not be considered to be legal or official tax advice.*

How far back can I file my taxes?

Each tax year has to be filed separately using the forms for the specific tax year.  They cannot be combined in any way--do not even put them in the same envelope when you mail them.  Software for past years is available back to 2019.  Any earlier years can only be prepared on paper forms by hand--and those refunds have been forfeited now.


The current online program can only be used for a 2022 return--no other year.  And if you did not file a 2021 return you will have trouble e-filing 2022.  When it asks for your 2021 AGI try using zero.  If zero does not work then you have to print, sign and mail 2022




TurboTax has software for 2019 onward.   Software is no longer available from TurboTax for earlier years, nor would it be supported even if you find it on eBay, etc.  Updates are not available. 



 It is also too late to receive a tax refund for a tax year earlier than 2020---those refunds have been forfeited.   BUT if you owe tax due you still have to pay with penalties and interest.   There might be other software providers that have software for those years, but you will not receive refunds for the returns even if the forms show a refund.



It might be better for you to seek local paid tax help in a situation when you are several years behind in filing your tax returns.  Do you even have all of the documents you will need to enter and show your income—like your W-2’s and any 1099’s?

Online preparation and e-filing for 2019 and 2020 and 2021 is permanently closed.

To file a return for a prior tax year

 If you need to prepare a return for 2019, 2020 or 2021 you can purchase and download desktop software to do it, then print, sign,  and mail the return(s)


You may also want to explore purchasing the software from various retailers such as Amazon, Costco, Best Buy, Walmart, Sam’s, etc.


Remember to prepare your state return as well—if you live in a state that has a state income tax.




When you mail a tax return, you need to attach any documents showing tax withheld, such as your W-2’s or any 1099’s.  Use a mailing service that will track it, such as UPS or certified mail so you will know the IRS/state received the return.

Federal and state returns must be in separate envelopes and they are mailed to different addresses.  Read the mailing instructions that print with your tax return carefully so you mail them to the right addresses.


Note:  The desktop software you need to prepare the prior year return must be installed/downloaded to a full PC or Mac.  It cannot be used on a mobile device.


If you are getting a refund, there is not a penalty for filing past the deadline.  If you owe taxes, the interest/penalties will be calculated by the IRS based on how much you owe and when they receive your return and payment. The IRS will bill you for this; it will not be calculated by TurboTax.


**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**

How far back can I file my taxes?

No matter which way you use to complete the returns you must start with the amended 2017 return the compete the rest in chronological order so the assets/depreciation on the rental carries forward correctly even if you do not file them in that order. 

How far back can I file my taxes?

Thanks for all the responses guys!

I have the desktop version of TurboTax 2017, 2018, 2019.  I will purchase 2020, 2021, 2022. 


From what I've read here I can amend my 2017 returns even though it is beyond the time limit to get a refund.  I am not due any refunds, nor do I owe any taxes after I make the amendments.



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