Your mailbox has started filling up with tax forms over the last several weeks and there are likely more to come. Getting your forms organized makes your tax filing easier for everyone involved. Here are some tips on how to handle all the forms you get and to head off any potential problems.
Collect them all
Check last year’s tax records, and make a list of the forms you received. Add any new accounts, employers or vendors and check the forms off as you get them.
Gathering all your forms is important because the IRS gets copies of each form sent to them as well. Missing one can trigger an IRS correspondence audit, creating extra work and possibly delaying your refund.
Check for digital forms
More employers, banks and others are making their tax forms available to you electronically, so you may not get a paper form in the mail. Be sure to check your inbox for any missing forms before you file, and don’t forget to check your junk or spam email folders as well, just in case any tax information accidentally ends up there.
Double check to see if there are any errors on the forms you receive. If there are, contact the issuer via phone and in writing to get the problem fixed. If you can’t get a corrected form, still report everything on your forms to the IRS, but add a correction explaining the error when you file your return. That way you can still file without waiting for the issuer to send you a corrected form.
Commonly overlooked forms
While getting all your W-2 and 1099 forms is important, there are three forms worthy of special attention before you file:
- 1095 – Proof of health insurance, required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Most taxpayers will no longer receive this form, unless you get your insurance through the Healthcare Marketplace. If you do, you may be entitled to a special premium tax credit. You will need this form to support this deduction.
- 1098-T – Confirmation of tuition and fees paid to qualified educational institutions. If you’re taking an education deduction, you’ll need one of these forms from your accredited school.
- 1099-K – Confirmation of payments you receive from a third party service like Ticketmaster, SeatGeek, Venmo or other digital/credit card payment systems. New rules required many more to receive this form, but the IRS recently delayed the expanded reporting requirement in late December 2022. Too late for many to stop sending out their forms…so look for them AND retain them if you get any of these forms.
As you watch for your forms to arrive, remember to reach out to schedule your tax filing appointment. An early appointment will help ensure you get all questions answered ahead of the April filing deadline.