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Have you received all your tax paperwork? Every year around this time I get questions from people who are missing a Form 1099 and aren’t sure what to do. In case you’re not familiar with the lingo, IRS Form 1099 is used to document various forms of income, including things like:
- Interest earned (1099-INT)
- Dividends received (1099-DIV)
- Cancellation of debt (1099-C)
- Government payments (1099-G)
- Proceeds from broker transactions (1099-B)
- Retirement distributions (1099-R)
- Miscellaneous income (1099-MISC)
There are more, but I’ve hit the big ones above. When these forms are issued to you, the issuer is also supposed to send a copy to the IRS. This allows the IRS to keep closer track of how much money you’ve earned.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to Form 1099, however. First, a 1099 is generally not required unless you earned more than $600 from that source during the year. This doesn’t mean the income isn’t taxable, just that they payer doesn’t have to issue a 1099. Second, payments to a corporation don’t require a 1099. Thus, if you’re self-employed and have incorporated your business, you might not receive any 1099s.
What if you didn’t get a 1099 form?
Assuming that you’re truly due one or more 1099s, you should have received them by now, as the deadline is January 31st. If you are expecting one and it hasn’t shown up, your best bet is to contact the payer. If it still hasn’t shown up by February 15th, you can call the IRS at 800-829-1040.
Note that you don’t really have to have all of your 1099s to file your taxes, as you don’t usually need to attach them to your return. As long as you can accurately piece together your income (as well as any income taxes withheld) from other sources, you can just go ahead and report it without documentation.
If you file your taxes and later receive a 1099 that you had forgotten about, you’ll have to amend your return using IRS Form 1040X.
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