Have you started thinking about doing your taxes yet? I haven’t. Rather, as I do every year, I’ve just been tossing all of our tax forms in a pile as they arrive, and I haven’t paid much attention to what’s here vs. what’s missing.
But now that we’ve moved into February, you should have everything you need to file your taxes, as most everything is supposed to be in your hands by January 31st.
Here’s a quick rundown of forms that you might be expecting:
- W-2 (for wages earned)
- 1099-DIV (for dividends received)
- 1099-INT (for interest earned)
- 1099-MISC (for miscellaneous income)
- 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)
For starters, a 1099-MISC is only required if you earned more than $600 from a given source over the course of the year. You might still get a 1099 even if you earned less than that amount, but if you don’t get one, don’t worry.
In contrast, 1099-INT and 1099-DIV forms are required for earnings in excess of $10. That being said, it’s quite possible that your bank or other financial institution has switched to electronic delivery, such that you need to login and download the forms.
You should also be aware that payments made to a corporation don’t require a 1099, regardless of the amount. Thus, if you’re self-employed and have incorporated your business, it’s quite possible that you won’t receive any 1099 forms related to your work.
Of course, you are still legally required to report all income whether or not you receive a 1099, so be careful… And if you do get a 1099, but don’t report the income, you’re just begging for an audit.