Believe it or not, there is now less a month to go until the tax deadline of April 15th (barring any change of the filing date, but we won’t get into that again.). This means that it is really time to get your paperwork together. We are now getting to the point where it can become difficult to acquire any missing forms before the deadline.
If you are missing a W-2 or 1099 form that reported income, you should contact your employer or issuer and obtain a copy. It is possible that your personal copy got lost somewhere along the way, which means that IRS knows you received the money and if you do not claim it on a return, they will notice. It is also possible that the information the form contains will result in you getting a refund and you do not want to overlook that, right?
You should also contact your employer/issuer if the form you received is incorrect. Again, if you know the correct numbers and use those instead of the numbers that the IRS has, this is going to garner some interest that you do not want.
There are cases where you will not be able to get a form you should have received, though. We cannot always account for the actions of others who did not do as they should. There is a form you can use at this point – Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement or Form 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc.
Yes, that is a long title, and yes, that speaks to how little fun this time of year can be, but it also tells you how good it is to get it handled with enough time to be able to handle all those potential tasks.
This also seems like a good time to talk about what to do if you received forms saying you received income that you did not. This could be a tipoff to a scam that became more prevalent over the last year as unemployment benefits were claimed by schemers who used the names of others to get the extra benefit given by the government in the midst of the pandemic. You should not have to pay taxes on money you never received, and again, reporting and getting on top of that immediately will only lead to fewer issues and headaches.
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To ensure we don't make the folks at the IRS ornery, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.