How to use a Substitute Return

Substitute A Return

Filing Back Taxes is a difficult process. If you have not filed for years, you probably lost important Tax Forms and documentation. A Substitute Return form can be very useful when filing back taxes owed.

Form To Request a Substitute Return

IRS Form 4852 is a substitute tax form. It can be used as a substitution for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, or Form 1099-R. In order to use the form you must attach one of the following forms; whichever corresponds to your situation:

  • Form 1040
  • Form 1040A
  • Form 1040-EZ
  • Form 1040X

When Is It Appropriate to File A Substitute Return?

File a Substitute Return if you are missing Tax Files such as your W-2. It can be used to report distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement, Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, or other related sources.

Substitute For Return vs. Substitute Return

Form 4852 is not to be confused with a Substitute for Return. The IRS may file a Substitute for Return or SFR if you do not file your taxes on time. The IRS uses information returned to them from third parties in order to complete the form. The Tax Owed for an SFR is usually higher than one you would return on your own. So it would be to your benefit to file your taxes one your own before the IRS does it for you.

IRS will usually file you as Single or Married Filing Separate. This means even if you are married or have gained/loss dependents, they will not be counted as deductions. Business losses or other related deductions that you could have taken advantage of will also be omitted.

If you are having trouble gathering additional Tax Documentation that is needed for completing your Tax Returns, consider working with a Tax Professional. It’s very important to file your returns in a timely manner if you want to avoid trouble with the IRS.

Free Substitute Tax Return Consult

Connect with Tax Professionals
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