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Anne, Master Tax Preparer
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 2429
Experience:  Enrolled Agent with 25 Years Experience specializing Individual and Small Businesses
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Filing tax return and getting w-2 for the past few years

Customer Question

<p>Hi, </p><p>I'm 22 year old, and because of my dad's job I lived outside US all my childhood up to 6 months ago, when I came back to US. I want to go to college and apply for financial aid in FAFSA. They need information from my W-2 form which I don't have because I haven't had filed any tax as of yet. I was a student outside US living with my parents and only worked part time with an income about2000$ per year. <br />Is there anyway to file taxes for the past 3-4 years to have a tax return and get the w-2 form?  How long will it take to get my tax return? where can I file?<br />I also have another question, my father has studied and worked in america since he was 18 till he was 45, and his green card was expired 4 years ago. He has a social security number and has paid taxes regurarly while he was in america. He also owns a registered company in California which has not been working and making money for the last 15 years! The FAFSA(financial student aid) requires me to file my dad's forms and he is planning to come back to US too(I will apply for his green card). So I need his tax forms too. Is he even eligible to file taxes for the past 15 years or at least the last 2 years in america with his income outside the US while he is not living in US right now and his green card is expired? <br />As I'm completely unfamiliar with all tax related material in US, Please tell me exactly what steps should I take and what documents I need to have provided and how long will it take to get everything done. <br /><br />Thank you very much for you help, <br />Best Regards, <br />Maani Archang</p>
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Tax
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
Expert:  Anne replied 7 years ago.
Hi Manny

Thank you for using justanswer. Assuming that the money you earned while you were going to school was paid to you by US tax source (meaning you were paid by a US employer and you received an actual W2 from that employer ), then you may obtain a copy of your W2 by filing Form 4506 Request for Copy of Tax Return, and mail this form to the IRS along with a check for $57 for each year you are requesting a copy of your W2.

Alternately, you may file Form 4506-T ( receive a transcript of your account, which would include all sources of income that were reported under your SS# XXXXX any given year. The transcript would have all of the same information as your W2, and there is no charge for the transcript.

As for whether or not you need to actually file a tax return for the years you have US sourced income, that depends on how much you earned. There is a standard deduction based on your filing status , (for tax year 2009, the standard deduction for a single filer was $5700) and unless you also have other types of income, such as interest, self employment income, etc, then even though you stated you have have earned around $2000, that $ amount is less than your standard deduction, and you would not have been required to file an actual return, so getting the transcript of your account may be enough for FASFA.

The IRS has up to 60 days t(o send you this information. Please see below:

Get A Copy of My Return

As for your father, once he abandoned his green card, the only way for him to receive another green card is for him to apply all over again. Please see below: (You will need to copy & paste the below address into your web browser:

and also here:

So, to recap:

Probably your best bet is to send away for a tax transcript by filing
e Form 4506-T since that's free and will contain the all the information FASFA should need .

If, as I suspect, your father has abandoned his permanent residence with the US due to:

a-Move to another country intending to live there:

b-Remain outside of the US for more than 1 year without obtaining a re-entry permit or returning resident visa.

c-Remain outside of the US for more than 2 years after issuance of a re-entry permit without obtaining a resident visa.

d-Fail to file US income tax returns while living outside of the uS for any period


e-Declared himself as a "Non Resident" on his tax returns.

I'm a little unclear from your question if your father actually filed any US tax returns during the time he was not living the US, but from the tone of your question, I do not believe he has, and the answer re: whether or not your father may file his tax returns showing that his business lost money is yes, however, the IRS does frown on business owners who have losses year after year, and will sometimes reclassify this from a business to a hobby, so your father wants to be sure and show the IRS that he is treating this as a legitimate business, the he is doing all he can to generate income (advertising is one of the things they look at) and that he has been successful in this type of business before, etc

However, your father will either need to reapply for another green card if he wants to file as a Resident Alien, or he will have to file as a "Non Resident Alien"

I hope this helps.

Edited by Anne on 8/7/2010 at 2:50 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for your answer. I didn't understand the first sentence of your answer. I've been living outside US since I was 3. I'm 22 now and I've never filed any tax in US or had anything to do with a US employer or IRS. So I don't have an employer who can send me a W-2, actually I only have heard of it since the day I asked my question here!!


Let me tell you how part time job works in Iran. I've been teaching physics and chemistry in 2 high schools and have published two exam preparation books in the same fields. Sometimes I got paid cash and sometimes by check which I cashed in bank immidiately. I don't know if it is of any benefit, but even if it is, I don't think I can get any employment letter or reciept of paychecks.


I also know that I don't need to file tax but I want to do it anyways. So says I need to enter my information from a W-2 or a IRS document.

The information they need in the first place are:

What tax return will I file(should choose from 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ)

Adjusted gross income for 2009

How much did I earned from working in 2009


So please tell me how could I file tax return without a W-2 form, with the income I have from Iran.



About my dad; He hasn't filed anything since he is out of US. Last year he made about 28000$ and he has host his premanent residency since he hasn't return to US for way more than 2 years. He has no property and his savings are about 20 000 $ all together!!


Thank you very much,



Expert:  Anne replied 7 years ago.
Hi again Manny

Thank you for the additional information re: your income (wages) were earned in Iran. I'm assuming that you are coming to the US to go to school, and that you will be coming over here on either a J1 visa or an F1 visa.

Neither of these visas qualifies the holder (you) for any US financial aid, which is why the FAFSA application didn't make any sense to you. There are only certain individuals that may apply for FAFSA. Please see below: (you will need to copy & paste the following into your web browsers:

I'm sure this is not the answer you were looking for, but I hope it helps clarify things for you.

Again, your father will have to reapply for another Green Card, and since this is a matter of immigration law, not really taxes, you should contact someone who specializes in this field to help you and your father walk thru the process of getting a new card.

I hope this helps.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi again Anne


I'm a California borne US citizen. I have my passport, birth certificate, social security number, and California ID card!


As for my dad, I know I can file a petition for him to get his green card back in less than 1 year. But let's focus on my problem now!

Expert:  Anne replied 7 years ago.

Believe me, I am trying to focus on your problem, but it seems like we can't get on the same page, so before I try to answer your question again, let me ask you some quetions first:

In what country did you earn you money in. Iran? US?

How many years did you work in Iran (or US if that's the case) and approximately how much money did you earn each year?

Have you ever filed a tax return in either Iran or the US?

Is it a safe assumption that you are a US citizen, either by birth, or if you weren't born on US soil did your father obtain a green card for you at the same time he got his?

Is there anything else you think I should know that may have a direct connection to this situation?

I'm hoping the answers to the above question will give me a more accurate picture of your situation.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Dear XXXXXe,

I'm sorry I forgot to say I'm a US citizen in the first place, I didn't expect you may think else than that because I was asking about FAFSA and ... which are only for US citizens and Green Card holders. My bad; Again Sorry.


I'm a California borne US citizen. I'm 22 now and I was 3 when my parents moved to Iran. My father had his green card since he was 20(he is 64 now). I moved back in US since April 2010. I haven't work in USA. I was a medical student in Iran since I was 18, and I worked part time(teaching, tutoring, writing or editing exam questions for Iranian companies in education(Like Kaplan in USA). I earned about 2000$/year for 4 years(around 8000$ total). In Iran people don't file tax. They file tax if they have a company themselves. The government takes taxes from people's wages before they get it. So I haven't had filed any tax yet anywhere.


Again, I know I don't have to file tax with this low income but I want to because I need to have my taxes filed.


Thank you very much,



Expert:  Anne replied 7 years ago.
Ok This information helped. Thank you.

You will only get a W2 from a US employer. Every country has their own income reporting docs, and the US uses a W2. Iran should have its own reporting docs, but even if they don't , you still may not use a W2, since that W2 must have the name/address of a US based company.

You may certainly file a Federal 1040 tax return listing the foreign income you received, however in all probability you will owe no tax to the Federal Government since you would qualify to exclude up to $91,400, but you may certainly file that tax return in order to verify your income for FASFA purposes.

I strongly suggest that you find an Enrolled agent, CPA, or other tax pro that is familiar with international issues and the rules for FASFA to help walk you thru filling out the forms since at this point in time your only income is from foreign sources.

I hope this helps