General Question

VisionaryAdvait's avatar

If I did not file taxes last year do I just put 0 in that field this year?

Asked by VisionaryAdvait (167 points ) January 30th, 2009

I did not make enough to file taxes last year, so did not even file. Do I just put 0 in the field for last year’s taxes?

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13 Answers

Emdean1's avatar

yes or there night be be option if you are filing online where you can say you did not file.

Emdean1's avatar

Might sorry

lrk's avatar

Depends. Were you practicing tax evasion? ;)

MrItty's avatar

What “field” are you talking about? There is no such “what was your last year taxes” on the IRS forms, so I presume you’re talking about your state forms. And that means we need more information, because only 1/50th (or less) of us are filing the same form as you. What is the exact wording of the field? Is it asking how much you paid in taxes last year, or is it asking the size of your refund last year, or the size of your April 15th payment last year?

If it’s asking how much you paid in taxes, no, you most definitely do not put 0, unless you didn’t work at all (had no income) or had no withholding from the paychecks you did earn. You did pay taxes throughout last year, via withholdings from your paycheck.

funkdaddy's avatar

Some online services use last year’s income (adjusted gross income) as a way to confirm you are the same individual, I believe the IRS makes this number available to them through their e-file service.

More information from turbo tax

Whoever you’re filing with should give instructions as to how to handle the situation. But it appears you would just enter 0.

@MrItty – not everyone has taxes withheld from their check… many contract workers and those who are self employed for example are responsible for tracking and filing that completely on their own…

dynamicduo's avatar

Big disclaimer: I’m Canadian, thus our taxes are totally different.

I’m a bit worried that you didn’t file any taxes last year. Just because you don’t earn enough doesn’t mean you shouldn’t file a tax return (again, disclaimer, in Canada this is the norm. I have no clue about in the States). I’m not sure what, if any, consequences will arise from you not doing last year’s taxes, but doing this year’s, etc.

Regardless, there should be a number you can call to get more information about this. You’ll have to use Google for that since we don’t know what state you live in. For future reference, you always need to put your location when you ask questions about tax or laws, as they vary from place to place.

btko's avatar

Yeah depends which country you live in.

MrItty's avatar

dynamicduo, in the States, if you didn’t earn enough money to owe any taxes, you are not required to file. If, however, you had money withheld from your paycheck, you can and should still file so that you can get that money back.

MrItty's avatar

funkdaddy, please read my last paragraph again, and you’ll see that I already noted that possibility.

“If it’s asking how much you paid in taxes, no, you most definitely do not put 0, unless you didn’t work at all (had no income) or had no withholding from the paychecks you did earn. You did pay taxes throughout last year, via withholdings from your paycheck.”

funkdaddy's avatar

@MrItty – my friend, the quote is…

You did pay taxes throughout last year, via withholdings from your paycheck.

Emphasis yours, perhaps a typo or a lost word… if we’re saying the same thing, all the better. No offense intended.

MrItty's avatar

Whatever, funky. If you can’t tell there’s an implicit “if you had withholdings” in that statement, based on the fact that the VERY PREVIOUS SENTENCE notes that possibility, then there’s very little I can do to clarify for you. Bye.

audhi5000's avatar

I Hope Your Read This Cause It HAS The answer, atleast for taxact online.
In exploring the help menu, It clearly states that if you did not file taxes last year, simply put in 0 or click the box that says 0. Basically this is a varification process, your last years income is not going to be processed with eligibility for tax refund. If you filed taxes last year, then they want to see you know that and what your AGI was, if you didnt, they want to see you know THAT and you should enter 0.
Infact – even if you went through a hairbrained process of figuring out what it was – even though you dint file taxes – that then entered that number. You would be rejected, based on the fact that your number does not equate to their data base, since you dint file.

SO ENTER ZERO
This was a real pain the tush to figure out, so I hope it helps everyone out there.

justmemlb's avatar

Using TaxAct, I entered 0 (as they advised) but… IRS rejected the return, said the AGI does not agree with their records. :( So, I have to disagree with MrItty. It is the weekend, so I am impatiently waiting for Monday to contact IRS. FYI to funkdaddy… in order to e-file (in the states) you are asked to provide the prior year AGI (adjusted gross income). If for some reason you did not work, (stay at home mom; in prison; 1st-time filer; whatever) you would not have a prior year AGI.

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