Before we can file our 2012 tax returns there are a number of forms we need to get from our employers, financial institutions and other entities we make money from or did business with. Below are estimated time frames for when we can expect to receive some of these common income tax forms.
Employer W-2. This is the most common form required at filing and is provided by your employer(s) to document your earnings for the calendar year. If you had multiple jobs in a year you will get multiple W-2 forms. This tax form supplies you with some of the most important information you’ll need when you fill out tax return such as the wages you earned and the taxes your employer withheld during the year. Employers are required by law to provide (via mail or hand-delivered) a form W-2 by January 31st. If you have not received your W-2 shortly after this date contact your employer’s payroll department to obtain a re-issued copy.
Form 1098. You’ll receive this form if you paid interest on a mortgage or student loan, paid college tuition or donated to charity. Look to get this form (Copy B) by the end of January as well. If you do not receive the form, contact the originating financial agency or charity and remind them that the IRS requires them to provide the form by January 31st.
Form 1099 series. This family of tax forms is for reporting unearned income (i.e income that isn’t salary, wages or tips). It is the most widely used set of IRS forms by financial institutions to report their account holders tax obligations. There are several types of 1099 forms, including:
- 1099-DIV, which reports dividends, distributions, capital gains and federal income tax withheld from investment accounts (which include mutual and ETFs).You should get one of these forms from your mutual fund or brokerage institution. Vanguard, Fidelity and other major financial institutions have the key dates for receipt of tax forms on their websites. For example Vanguard is providing their forms by the end of February. Fidelity has stated that most forms will be sent to account holders by February 15th. The smaller brokers sometimes run late and they are obligated to notify you of any delays in distributions of these forms.
- 1099-B. You’ll need this form to determine investment capital gains or losses. For mutual fund accounts, Form 1099-B reports all sales, exchanges, and redemptions (for non retirement accounts. For brokerage accounts, this form reports sales, mergers, bond maturities, and aggregate profits or losses on regulated futures contracts.
- 1099-INT keeps track of interest income you earn on investments and from savings accounts. For example, Ally Bank and ING Direct will send you a 1099-INT by January 31st per their website information.
- 1099-MISC documents self-employment earnings, as well as miscellaneous income such as royalties, commissions or rents. It covers all non-employee income that is not derived from investments. You’ll receive a 1099-MISC if you earned more than $600 from any one company while working as an independent contractor, consultant or freelancer within the tax year.
- 1099-R - This form report transactions from retirement accounts (including IRAs and employer-sponsored plans) such as distributions, removal of excess contributions, Roth conversions, IRA recharacterizations or rollovers, and federal and state tax withholding. The related form to this one is Form 5498 which provides contributions and conversion information for traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRAs, and Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRAs.
- 1099–SA reports taxable transactions for those who own a health savings account and took a distribution.
- 1099-Q is send to those who received a distribution from a 529 plan account.
Form 1042–S is mailed to nonresident alien investors. It reports dividends and short- and long-term capital gains for non-retirement accounts, and distributions from retirement accounts, including IRAs. The form also reports federal income tax withheld, referred to as nonresident alien withholding. This form normally takes more time than the others and you can expect it sometime in mid-March.
Most IRS reporting tax forms are required to be provided only for amounts of $10 or more, or if taxes have been previously withheld. However, you must report any investment income or distributions you receive to the IRS. While most of the above forms used to be only mailed, you can now also choose an eDelivery method. See this article for key IRS filing deadlines.