A new year, a new tax return!
It’s time to get started on your taxes. If you haven’t received all your tax forms, don’t worry. The IRS gives companies a deadline, so you should be receiving your tax forms soon if you haven’t already. You may also be able to easily import your W-2 forms when you use TurboTax.
Employers, brokers, and lenders will send you tax forms and statements that contain information you need to file your taxes soon so now is the time to start watching your mail for the following tax forms:
- W-2: This is the form you receive from a regular employer. This form includes information about your wages and other earnings (including tips, if applicable). This form also includes information about how much you have paid in federal and state taxes over the course of the year, as well as your payroll taxes.
- 1099-MISC: More and more people do contract work on the side, as freelancers and consultants. If you have received earnings from such activities you can expect to receive a 1099-MISC.
- 1099-K: If you earned income as a freelancer working in the on-demand economy like Uber or Lyft you may see this form. Form 1099-K reports income processed through third-party networks, such as PayPal. A payment processor must report income to the IRS using Form 1099-K if your gross payments:
- Exceed $20,000, AND
- Exceed 200 transactions within the tax year
- Other 1099 forms: The 1099-MISC isn’t the only 1099 form you might receive. If you received interest from savings or investments, you will get a 1099-INT. You might also receive 1099-DIV reporting dividends and distributions from investments, or a 1099-C if you have cancelled debt.
- 1098: This is the form associated with mortgage interest you have paid during the year. If you itemize your deductions, this form reports the mortgage interest you paid that you can deduct.
- 1098-E and 1098-T: Both of these forms are related to education. The 1098-E provides details on tax-deductible student loan interest you have paid during the year. The 1098-T offers information on the eligible education costs paid for attending an institution of higher learning.
- 1095 A, B or C: Depending on your health insurance coverage, you may receive one of these three forms detailing your health insurance. You do not need 1095-B or 1095-C to file your taxes, they are just for your records. If you purchased your health insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace, you will receive Form 1095-A, which is just like entering a W-2 in TurboTax. You may also be able to automatically upload your 1095-A pdf in TurboTax to eliminate data entry.
- Other: These are just the most common forms, but you may also be waiting for different forms. For example, if you are an owner of a partnership, limited liability company, S Corporation, or other entity, you’ll be getting a K-1. Either way, be on the lookout for your forms. When they arrive, keep them together, and in a safe place. That way, you will have them ready when you sit down to do your taxes.
Remember that, in some cases, you might need other supporting documentation in addition to the form. For example, you might receive receipts for donations to charity in the mail, or you might receive a statement of eligible child care expenses for the child and dependent care credit. Gather that supporting documentation so you don’t forget any of your tax deductible expenses that means more money in your pocket at tax-time.
Employers and companies paying contractors are required to send out W-2s and 1099-Misc by January 31. Many companies are now opting to send them electronically, rather than through the mail, so make sure your information is updated. You can also import your tax information from millions of employers and financial institutions when you use TurboTax. If you haven’t received expected forms by the third week of February, contact the organization and ask for more information. If you have access online, it may be faster to log in and look for the form there.
When you receive your forms, review them for accuracy. Mistakes are not unheard of and you’ll want to correct them as quickly as possible. If there are mistakes, the issuing organization needs to correct the problem and send you a new form.
Now that you know what tax forms you need, time to get started so you can get your tax refund as soon as possible. Don’t worry about knowing all the forms. TurboTax will ask you simple questions about you and give you the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for.