Wednesday, January 20, 2016
2015 INFORMATION RETURNS
In the next few weeks you will be getting the information forms you will need to prepare your 2015 tax returns in the mail – W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, K-1s, etc. You may have already started to receive these items.
Here is a chart of the delivery due dates for various IRS information returns (you may need to click on the image to read better) –
As you receive 2015 information returns you should check the amounts reported on the forms against your own records. And it is important to verify that the Social Security numbers on all forms are the correct numbers. If you discover an error, or something you don’t understand, contact the employer or financial institution for an explanation or a corrected return.
A bank may issue one 1099-INT for all accounts – savings, money market, CDs – belonging to the same name and Social Security number. Verify each account listed on the form to make sure they all belong to you. A few years back one of my clients received a 1099-INT with someone else’s account included. Had he not carefully checked the form he would have paid close to $100.00 in federal and state tax on another person’s income.
Some information returns may come attached to other documents. Check the contents of each envelope carefully. Your Form 1098 for mortgage interest may arrive attached to the January or February monthly mortgage statement. Some year-end dividend checks have a Form 1099-DIV attached. Don’t separate the check and throw out the 1099-DIV thinking it is a stub. And check 1099-DIVs you receive to see if there is a check attached. I can’t tell you how many times I have found checks attached to 1099s given to me by clients.
Just because you didn’t receive a 1099 for income does not mean that one was not submitted to the IRS. You must report all taxable income, whether or not you have received a Form 1099. 1099-DIV and 1099-INT does not have to be issued if the amount is under $10, and Form 1099-MISC may not need to be issued if the amount is under $600, but all taxable dividends, interest and “miscellaneous” income must be reported regardless of the amount received.
When asked about a Form 1099-INT for an account, banks often tell depositors that you only have to report interest on your 1040 if it is $10 or more. This is wrong! Banks may not have to issue a Form 1099-INT if the interest is less than $10, but you are required to report all interest on all accounts from dollar one.
Many states will no longer mail out 1099-Gs for state tax refunds or unemployment benefits. You may need to go online to your state tax department’s website to download the form.
If you have a brokerage account there is an excellent chance that you will receive at least one, if not two, corrected “Consolidated 1099 Statements” to report revised taxable dividends, interest, and gross proceeds after the initial statement arrives in late January. The final corrected 1099 may not arrive until mid-March.
I tell all my clients to wait until they have received all of their information returns – W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, K-1s, etc – until giving me their tax “stuff”. See "What I Need to Prepare Your 2015 Returns".
Do not hold up having your return prepared if you have received all other information returns and are just waiting for a 1095-B and/or 1095-C form. You do, however, need Form 1095-A, if applicable, in order to properly prepare your 2015 return.