Are you one of the millions of people who, due to one unfortunate circumstance or another, occasional fail to file a tax return for a given year. The good news is that the Internal Revenue Service rarely penalizes anyone for filing a late or amended return.
In fact, they even help you out by making downloadable returns for previous years available on the Internal Revenue Service website, irs.gov.
If you missed filing in 2005, it could be because the IRS' decided not bother sending you forms to fill out because someone in the belly of the beast decided you'd be more likely to use a computer to prepare and print out your return.
According to an official statement released in January 2005, "the Internal Revenue Service will send taxpayers almost 29.5 million tax packages and about 11 million computer-filing brochures this year. This mail out costs nearly $6.3 million for printing and almost $8.5 million for postage, for an average cost of 36.4 cents per item mailed.
"The IRS does not mail tax packages to those likely to use a computer to do their own returns. Instead, it sends them a brochure that explains electronic filing and the Self-Select PIN (personal identification number) program.
"About 15.5 million of the tax packages invite recipients to file by telephone. These TeleFile packages -- which contain no tax forms -- include Customer Service Numbers used to "sign" the returns, and a "Tax Record" that helps the taxpayer prepare for the call and serves as a record of filing.
"Nearly 1.2 million taxpayers will receive a Form 1040-V payment voucher in another mailing separate from their regular tax packages. The voucher helps ensure that their payments are accurately credited to their accounts. The IRS saves money by mailing the voucher separately from the tax packages.
"Taxpayers should use the name labels from the tax packages on their forms to help ensure a correct mailing address. Since the labels don't include Social Security numbers (SSNs), taxpayers must put their SSNs on their forms, taking care that each person's SSN matches the name on the Social Security card. Failure to do so may result in delayed refunds or lost tax benefits. Incorrect or missing numbers for taxpayers or dependents among were among the most frequent errors on returns the last few years."