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Can I file a 2021 return if I haven't filed my 2020 return yet?

SOLVEDby TurboTax1201Updated January 04, 2022

There's no law or rule that says you have to file your 2020 return before you can do your 2021 return.

However, it's best to prepare your 2020 return first, if possible. This gives you several advantages:

  • You'll be able transfer your 2020 data to your 2021 return, which saves time and prevents data entry errors.
  • You'll have the answers to certain program questions that involve last year's return (and you'll avoid having to amend your return if you answered them incorrectly).
  • You'll be able to use the AGI method to electronically sign your 2021 return so you can e-file it.

If you're not able to file your 2020 return before filing your 2021 taxes, that's OK. Just be sure to review your 2021 return after you've filed 2020. Should your 2021 return need corrections based on info in your 2020 return, you may need to amend.

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