The first thing you should know about the various 1099 forms is that if you’re a worker you don’t fill them out yourself. The person who is paying you or administering your investment account will send you a 1099. It’s one of the good kinds of tax forms – the kind you don’t have to struggle with. Look for the forms in January.
Form 1099-MISC is for miscellaneous income. This could be from work you did as a freelancer, independent contractor or intern. Regular salaried and hourly workers will have their income reported on W-2 forms. Anyone who paid an independent contractor, though, will report that person’s wages on a 1099-MISC. If you earned wages as an independent contractor in a certain tax year, make sure that the person or people who hired you have your correct address and information on file.
You may receive a 1099-INT from your bank to report money that you earned in periodic interest payments. For example, if you have a savings account your bank should send you a 1099-INT to report the interest you earned that year. Although it’s likely a small amount, this interest is taxable, so remember to enter what’s on your 1099-INT when you do your income taxes.
1099 – DIV
Got investments? If your investments earned dividends (and we hope they did!) you should get a 1099-DIV from your brokerage reporting those dividends. When you file your taxes you’ll include those dividends. This is different from capital gains and losses made from selling assets. You’ll report those separately.
The “G” in 1099-G stands for “government.” Your state government will send you a 1099-G to report money you received in unemployment benefits or in a state tax refund, if applicable. Unemployment benefits are subject to taxation at the federal level and must be reported on your income tax returns. If you claimed a deduction for your state income taxes on your federal income taxes the previous year, you must report the state tax refund form your 1099-G as income.
Form 1099-R is for withdrawals from a retirement account such as a traditional IRA. The brokerage that houses your retirement account will send you a 1099-R detailing the withdrawals you took from the account throughout the tax year. Got money from a pension plan, profit-sharing plan or annuity? That’ll be on a 1099-R as well.
If a creditor has canceled a portion of your debt you should receive a 1099-C. If you reach a debt settlement with, say, your credit card company, they’ll send you a 1099-C to include with your tax returns for that year. Unfortunately, the downside of having that debt canceled is that your taxable income may increase by the amount of the canceled debt.
You should receive your 1099 form(s) by January 31st, giving you plenty of time to complete your taxes by the April 15th deadline. If you’re concerned that you might not get your form on time, get in touch with your employer and/or bank beginning in early January. If you use tax preparation software (like TaxAct or H&R Block), you’ll be prompted to enter the information on any and all 1099 forms as you complete your returns.
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