Tax season is upon us! Each year brings a new set of circumstances to navigate — student loan payments, a new home, or a growing family. Because of this, an important part of the tax return process is knowing exactly which tax preparation forms you’ll receive each year.
Employers, financial institutions, lenders, and investment companies have until the end of January to get all necessary tax preparation forms into the mail, so you should start receiving everything in early February. To make sure you know what tax preparation forms to expect, make a list of any employers, credit unions or banks, lenders, or investors you worked with in the past year. Once you receive their tax forms, cross them off your list.
Whether you’re preparing your taxes yourself or you’re preparing your tax information for an accountant to review, here’s a list of important tax preparation forms you need before you can begin your tax return.
Tax Forms from Your Employer
W2 — This form comes from your employer and shows the amount of wages that were paid to you in the past year, along with the amount of taxes you paid in the past year. If you worked more than one job, you’ll receive a W2 form from each employer.
1099-MISC — If you’re a self-employed freelancer or contractor worker, you’ll receive this form from each company that paid you over $600 in the past year.
Tax Forms from Your Credit Union or Bank
1099-INT — If you have a savings account or deposit account that earned at least $10 in interest, you’ll receive this form which reports the interest earned on that account.
Tax Forms from Your Lenders
1098 — Interest paid on your mortgage can be a tax deduction. This form is sent by your mortgage company, showing the total amount of interest you paid on your loan.
1098-E — Additionally, you can claim student loan interest that you paid over the past year. This form is issued by your student loan lender(s).
Tax Forms from Your Investments
1099-DIV — This form reports earnings from individual stocks or mutual funds, if your earnings are over $10. However, if your earnings were used to buy additional shares of stock, you’ll have to pay taxes on those earnings.
1099-B — If you sold stocks or mutual funds during the year, this form from your broker or mutual fund company, reports the sale. You’ll also need the information from when you purchased the stock to complete your tax information.
1099-Q — This form shows the amount of withdrawals from your 529 college savings plan or Coverdell education savings plan. Withdrawals used for qualified expenses are tax-free.
1099-R — You’ll receive this form if you received a distribution of more than $10 from your retirement plan. This includes pensions, 401(k), IRAs, profit-sharing plans, insurance contracts, or annuities.
SSA-1099 — This form reports any Social Security distributions that you received in the past year.
Additional Tax Forms
1095-A — With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace, this tax prep form is sent to anyone enrolled in health insurance through a state or federal exchange.
1099-A — This form reports the amount of money withdrawn from your Health Savings Account. Additionally, you’ll need Form 8889 to outline how much money was used for eligible (tax-free) expenses.
Child Care Tax Credit — Your child care provider should send a year-end statement of what you paid for child care throughout the year, along with their tax identification number.
You’ll want to make sure that you have all the appropriate information before you submit your final tax return. If an unexpected tax form arrives after you have already filed, for example, a missed W2 form or 1099-R form, then you’ll need to amend your return. To amend a federal tax return, you should access Form 1040X.
As if tax season weren’t tricky enough, it’s a popular time of year for fraud and identity theft. Don’t fall victim to tax season scams. Make sure you’re sharing the right information with the right people and seek advice on avoiding tax ID theft scams.