What Forms Do I Need to File My Taxes?

tax forms with pencil and calculator
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When you sit down to file your taxes you need to make sure that you have all the forms that you need before you actually file your taxes. If you receive an unexpected form and you have already filed then you will have to amend your return. It does cost money to amend a return. You need to make sure your information is accurate before you file. Your accountant should know what forms you need if he interviews you.

However, it is your responsibility to watch for the forms in the mail and to turn them in when you meet with your accountant. If you are doing your taxes with software or online, the process should ask for specific forms. However, it is a good idea to know which forms you should be expecting in the mail. 

W-2 for Each Job

The first form that you receive is your W-2. You will receive this from your employer. It is a form that states the wages and taxes that you have paid over the year. If you have worked more than one job you will need to receive a W-2 from each employer. You may need to check to make sure your employers have your current address. If you have worked as an independent contractor, you will not receive a W-2 since you are responsible for paying your own taxes.

1099 Forms

If you have a savings account, or if you have earned interest or other forms of income not from an employer, you will receive a 1099 form.

There are several different types of 1099 forms and they will be labeled differently. If you are an independent contractor then you will receive 1099s from the people that you work with. The companies that issue you these forms also report the information to the IRS, and so it is important to report all of the information on the forms that you have received.

If you received less than $600.00, you still need to report the income to the IRS. It helps to make a list of places that you should receive a 1099 from so that you can cross the forms off as you receive them. If you are not sure, make a master list as you receive them, because the list will likely be similar next year

1098 Forms for Interest Deductions

If you plan on claiming a deduction because of your mortgage interest, you will need form 1098 from your mortgage company. You can also claim any student loan interest that you paid over the year. The company will issue you a 1098-E form. This may come in the same letter as your monthly statement, so you should look for it. You can claim the student loan deduction, even if you do not itemized on your taxes.

Timeline to Receive the Forms

Your employer and these companies are required to mail these reports by the end of January each year, so you should have them all sometime in February. It is important to make sure you have received them all. You can make a checklist of all the places you have worked, and the banks and investment firms that you have accounts with so that you can check off the statements as you receive them. It is important to double check the forms to make sure the amount that is listed is correct.

You can compare it to your own records or to the pay stubs that you have received throughout the year. If there is an error, then the company will need to issue you a new form. This form should say that it is the corrected form somewhere on the document. It can take a few weeks to receive the corrected form, so you should check each one as it comes in and compare it to your records. 

Additional Schedules and Forms

You may also need forms for any tax credits you qualify for. The child care tax credit will need a statement from your child care provider with the business's tax identification number. You will also need paper work if you are claiming the energy saving credit. Check out these tips if you are a recent college grad or college student.