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How to Handle a Missing 1099 Form

Written by Nickel - 23 Comments

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.

Published on February 5th, 2010 - 23 Comments
Filed under: Taxes

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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23 Responses to “How to Handle a Missing 1099 Form”

  1. 1
    Greg Says:

    What about cases where you would get a 1099, but one wasn’t sent because the amount was small? For example, Lending Club only sends a 1099-DIV for income over $10. If your income was less than that, how do you declare it on your tax return?

  2. 2
    Nickel Says:

    You should handle it the same way as if you had received a 1099. Even if you got one, you wouldn’t submit it with your return. You would just report the income.

  3. 3
    Paul @ FiscalGeek Says:

    Extremely timely, my wife was asking me the same thing last night. She’s our kids school PTA treasurer. Thanks Nickel!

  4. 4
    Bodark Says:

    IF it is a 1099R (Retirement income), the check writer will gladly reprint (e.g. Merrill Lynch, Bank of NY, etc..)Also, you can pester your former employer.. squeaky wheel gets the reprint!

    Of note – if you are a survivor receiving payment, the 1099R’s must be in sync with the Social Security Numbers. That is to say: If husband was alive from Jan to March, and wife received payments April to Dec. The 1099R’s must show that, even if the annuity amounts were the exact dollar. More random knowledge that you will use once in your life time.

  5. 5
    ryan Says:

    excellent post. we recently had a user asking us about what to do if the 1099 form had the wrong social security number. obviously we advised the user to request a corrected 1099 from the company. It’s details like these that often get overlooked. once again – nice post.

  6. 6
    IASSOS Says:

    I am missing the 1099 forms because of Fidelity. Here is what they said:

    “We are writing to inform you that Fidelity will mail your 2009 (Forms 1099) Tax Reporting Statement no later than February 28. Fidelity is taking this action to reduce the number of “corrected” tax statements you could receive.

    Please note the following:

    We will be mailing selected tax statements in late February because certain third-party tax information will not be available in time to be included in the tax statements mailed by the legal deadline (February 15).
    The third-party information includes data for certain non-Fidelity mutual funds, unit investment trusts, mortgage pool securities, and real estate investment trusts.
    We are able to mail your tax statements in late February because we received a mailing deadline extension from the Internal Revenue Service…”

  7. 7
    rick mendez Says:

    where do i get my unemployment 1099 form if i misplaced or didnt get one for filing my taxes this year. can i get one over the internet and where.

  8. 8
    rick mendez Says:

    did you get my number one question i sent you about my 1099 form

  9. 9
    Juli Says:

    My husband was self-employed and issued a 1099-misc to contract labor in early 2009 (TY2008). It is only now that I have discovered that we lost our copy of this form. I can piece together the amount that was reported on the form. What alerted us to this is that we received a letter from the IRS stating that the SSN listed on the form did not match their records. But now I see that I cannot find the form. Please help!

  10. 10
    Michael Quinn Says:

    Merrill Lynch sent me a 1099 for stock trades. It is nowhere near complete. What they sent me is of no use to me tax wise. Thank God I kept my own records! My question is if they sent this copy to the IRS, will they only use that info or will they use mine also. Thanks

  11. 11
    Antoinette Bean Says:

    How do I get my 1099G for 2011 if i didn’t recieve them as of yet I was told because i moved and they don’t forward is probably why, so i gave them the new address nad still haven’t got them yet

  12. 12
    Terry Says:

    I ordered a 1099 form for a contractor and the Gov. sent me a postcard that they did not have any. Now what do I do?

  13. 13
    judith Says:

    i am getting my taxes done now but do not have a copy of my 2011 earnings summary what do I do? can I print it out now I am in a library

  14. 14
    John T Says:

    I lost my 1099-G for my unemployment. But I didn’t make even like $8,000. DO I need to even file ?

  15. 15
    Chrissy C Says:

    This is why it is very important to keep records throughout the year. It seems to me that if you did, you would know exactly what will be reported in the 1099 misc.

  16. 16
    Meg Says:

    I should’ve received a 1099misc but they employer is refusing to give me the information. How do I report the extra income on my return

  17. 17
    Jo wold Says:

    I use accrual based accounting method. I earned income from a client in Dec. 2011. Got paid in Jan 2012. I didnt get a 1099 for ye 2011 but since I use accrual method I went ahead and claimed the income on my 2011 taxes. Now, in January 2013 I received the 1099 for that income I earned in 2011.

    What do I do now for ye 2012 taxes? I have already claimed it and paid taxes on it.

  18. 18
    Cindy Says:

    I just efiled and realized I missed a 1099. Will the IRS automatically know that a 1099 is missing?

  19. 19
    stressed Says:

    So I worked for a company that never paid me on time, I never received my pay stubs and now they are non responsive to me for my 1099, incidentally also my last paycheck… how can I file?

  20. 20
    ben Says:

    i also lost my 1099-g form it had info on how much i would recieve for the year i believe how do i get a copy of that same form i was sent in the mail about half a year ago.

  21. 21
    Chris Says:

    I did not in get my 1099-MISC in 2011 but it was submitted to IRS with the incorrect dollar amount. I contact the company several times, explained the dollar amount was incorrect and asked if they would send a corrected 1099-MISC. That was months ago and I still have not received it. Who on the IRS side can I call to report the dollar amount was incorrect in hopes that the company will be contacted and finally send a corrected 1099-MISC and I can file for an amendment?

  22. 22
    Annie Rosenblatt Says:

    If I have not yet received a 1099-R that should have been sent to us, along with another issue of an incorrect one we have received from a totally different party, I am sure these both would be cause for an extension. Am I correct? Thank you!

  23. 23
    A.K. Says:

    Do you report as 1099-misc, or as other income?

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