Over the past few weeks, I’ve been throwing all the documents related to my 2010 taxes in a basket on the kitchen counter. At this point, I’ve either received everything, or have been told that I should access it online. What about you?
The main things that I’ve been expecting are my W-2 form from work as well as a bunch of 1099 forms. In my case, these include:
- 1099-DIV (for dividends received)
- 1099-INT (for interest earned)
- 1099-MISC (for miscellaneous income)
You might also be expecting one or more of the following:
- 1099-B (for proceeds of broker transactions)
- 1099-C (for cancellation of debt)
- 1099-G (for government payments, including unemployment)
- 1099-OID (for certain investment income)
- 1099-R (for retirement distributions)
There are a handful of other types of 1099 forms, but these cover the most common types. Note that whenever you receive a 1099 form, the IRS gets one, too. This helps them keep track of how much you’ve earned.
How to handle missing forms
So… What should you do if one or more of the tax forms that you’ve been expecting still hasn’t shown up?
If you have a missing W-2 form, you’ll need to check with your employer’s HR department. It should have arrived by January 31st, so by now it’s long overdue.
If, on the other hand, you have one or more missing 1099 forms (likewise due by January 31st), consider the following…
For starters, a 1099-MISC is generally not required unless you earned more than $600 from that source during the year. In some cases, you might still get a 1099, but don’t hold your breath. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the income isn’t taxable, just that they don’t have to issue a 1099. In contrast, 1099-INT and 1099-DIV forms are required for earnings in excess of $10.
Second, payments that are made to a corporation do not require a 1099. Thus, if you’re self-employed and have incorporated your business, it’s quite possible that you won’t receive any 1099s related to your work. Once again, this doesn’t mean that the income in question isn’t taxable.
Assuming that you should have received a 1099 and it never showed up, your best bet is to contact the payer. If you still can’t get it straightened out, you might consider contacting the IRS at 800-829-1040. Just be aware that, whether or not you receive a 1099, you are legally obligated to declare all income.
Note that, because you don’t typically have to attach 1099s to your tax return, you don’t have to wait for a delayed 1099 to show up before filing your taxes. Rather, as long as you can figure out exactly how much you’ve earned (as well as any income taxes withheld), you can just go ahead and report it without documentation.