Can I file 2012 return if I haven't yet filed 2011 return?

I had a catastrophic loss in 2010, due to a flood.  A CPA volunteered to do my 2010 taxes and amend an old return to get me a refund.  It took two years for her to complete the 2010 return!  I was advised to hire a CPA to prepare 2011 taxes, which I can't afford to do right now.  2012 taxes should be straightforward.  Is it possible for me to file 2012 return when I haven't filed the 2011 return?   Thanks!
    Yes.  That's ok.  Each year is separate.  But make sure you know if you have anything from 2011 (or even 2010) that might affect your 2012 return.  LIke any Capital Loss Carryovers or something.
    • Thanks so much!  I thought I recalled having to list something from the prior tax year, like total tax paid, when I did my taxes in the past.

    Just a little curious, why not file your 2011 and 2012 using Turbo Tax.  If you are due a refund for the 2011 and don't owe taxes there shouldn't be any associated penalties and interest however if you do owe back taxes you are only making a bad situation MUCH WORST because the associated IRS penalties and interest are very steep and unforgiving.  Basically there are three separate penalties all constructed to make you never want to file late again.....The penalties and interest are based on the following

        Failure to File Penalty
        Failure to Pay Penalty

    Each is calculated differently and the worst thing is that the interest charged varies each month.

    Failure to File Penalty....

    The failure-to-file penalty is calculated based on the time from the deadline of your tax return (including extensions) to the date you actually filed your tax return. The penalty is 5% for each month the tax return is late, up to a total maximum penalty of 25%. The percentage is of the tax due as shown on the tax return. If your tax return is more than five months late, simply multiply your balance due by 25% to calculate your

    failure to file penalty.

    Failure to Pay Penalty

    The failure-to-pay penalty is calculated based on the amount of tax you owe. The penalty is 0.5% for each month the tax is not paid in full. There is no maximum limit to the failure-to-pay penalty. The penalty is calculated from the original payment deadline (the original April 15th filing deadline) until the balance due is paid in full.


    Interest is calculated based on how much tax you owe. Interest rates change every three months. Currently, the IRS interest rate for underpayment of tax is 4% per year. The interest is calculated for each day your balance due is not paid in full. . 

    Finally, as you can see this can get out of hand pretty quick so it can cost you a WHOLE LOT of money to wait.   Much more than what you would pay for the Turbo Tax software.   My advice to you is to do everything you can do to file right away it not worth the agony, frustration  and potential loss of income.....Please don't delay filing your 2011 taxes any longer than you have too

    • Thank you so much for you in-depth answer!  The situation is, because I filed 2010 taxes and took catastrophic loss, getting all my paid taxes refunded plus another refund from the amended 2007 return, I was told that I should  have a CPA do the 2011 taxes.  I honestly don't remember why, but it made sense at the time. I had to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which was finalized in 1/2011; maybe that is why?  I don't know if I owe anything or not, and if I do, it is due to the catastrophic 2010 filing; otherwise I always get back at least a small amount every year.  Right now I am unemployed and broke, and I will get a decent return on 2012 because I didn't work the last 3 months of that year.  It will be a pretty straight-forward return that I can file on Turbo-Tax.  I won't be able to afford the CPA until I either get the 2012 return, or get a job.  That is why I wanted to go ahead and file the 2012 return now.  I understand about the possible penalties, and sure hope I don't owe anything, but I was told it would be too complicated to do it myself.  What do you think?  

      By the way, I got the (possibly wrong) impression from the TV commercials that I could speak to a tax professional, by phone, if I needed assistance.  Is that true?  If so, how do I go about that?  Because if I do end up doing the 2011 return on Turbo-Tax, I will definitely need assistance!
    • Based on what you've outlined you probably won't owe any taxes but you won't know for sure until you've started processing your tax return.....   You can get a copy of 2011TurboTax pretty cheap online through eBay or Amazon.   Turbo Tax has a pretty good interview processing software that takes you through a step by step question and answer session.   Even though Turbo tax itself is a pretty good software platform their customer service is lacking.   I'm not sure you will have much success getting phone assistance from them but the folks on this forum and pretty knowledgeable and willing to answer your questions when you present them.   Not sure how a bankruptcy will affect your 2011 return but you should definitely present your question to the folks on this forum, I'm sure there are folk on the forum who have had similar experiences and will be able to advise you on how to proceed with your returns.....   Besides based on what you started the IRS probably owes you a nice refund anyway.  The sooner you're able to file all of your tax return the better because I believe you need the money much more than the Government......
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