The April deadline for filing your taxes is quickly approaching, and millions of Americans have not yet submitted their yearly communication with the Internal Revenue Service. For some, this is a deliberate delay—a refusal to comply even one day before the deadline. For others, it can be a time of high anxiety waiting for the forms, which have not arrived for one reason or another. If you fall into the group of “waiters,” here are some suggestions for what you can do to meet the April deadline.
Certain types of income are reported on 1099 forms that should be mailed to you in early February according to the IRS. These include 1099-B, Proceeds From Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions; 1099-DIV, Dividends and Distributions; 1099-G, Certain Government and Qualified State Tuition Program Payments; 1099-INT, Interest Income, and 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc. to name a few. Payers must mail these to you by January 31st to be in compliance with the law.
So, what do you do if you are expecting but have not received one of these forms? First, you can contact the payer. It is possible that it was returned to them because of an incorrect address or it was lost in the mail. If the payer mailed it to you but you did not receive it, they usually will be happy to send the information to you again. If the payer is not especially cooperative, you can contact the IRS for help at the Tax Help Line for Individuals at 1-800-829-1040.
In many cases, the information can be obtained from other sources. For example, you may have received a December or year-end statement from your bank that included year-to-date information you can use rather than the 1099. Quarterly dividend statements from brokers often include the information you need at year-end. In addition, if you have access to the Internet, some payers now make this information available through their company websites. If you can obtain accurate information, you should complete your return through any of these methods. It is not necessary for you to receive the 1099 to file you tax return.
In most cases, it is not necessary to include a copy of the 1099 when you file your return. The 1099s that must be attached to your tax return are those that indicate tax was withheld. If tax was not withheld and you can obtain or have accurate records of the 1099 income but do not have the 1099, you can file your return on time without the form. If later you determine that you submitted inaccurate information, you should file a 1040X to amend your original return.
As the April deadline rapidly approaches, we at the Tax & Accounting Division of Henssler Financial remind you that we are available to help you with tax preparation needs and questions. Feel free to contact us at 770-429-9166 or at [email protected]