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.
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.
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 email 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.
While getting all your W-2 and 1099 forms is important, there are two crucial forms that you also need before you file:
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 17 filing deadline.
As always, feel free to pass this Tip along to friends, and reach out if you need help with your personal tax and finance situation.
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