If you’re like me, you won’t start thinking about taxes until maybe around April 1st, which is about a month and a half away; if you’re not like me and are instead smarter, more responsible, and more organized, you’ve probably started thinking about doing your taxes already. Even if you’re like me and won’t want to do your taxes until April, it’s important for you to make sure that you have all the forms you’ll need for the big day. I don’t mean IRS tax forms like a 1040, those you can get easily from irs.gov, the tax forms I’m referring to are all the 1099s and W-2s you should have already received from your employer, your banks, your brokerages, etc.
Where To Get Your W-2:
The deadline for your employer (or former employer) to mail out your W-2′s for 2006 was January 31st so if you haven’t received it yet then it was probably lost in the mail. If so, don’t panic, just request that your employer send you a new copy (you might have to pay a fee, depending on how cheap your employer is) but it will take some time so it’s important to make that request now rather than later. The W-2 form is really the only form you’ll need to include with your return.
Now, if you can’t get your employer to give you one (they’re just not very nice), you can call the IRS for help at (800) 829-1040. If that doesn’t yield any fruit (or you can’t get a copy before the due date), the last resort is to use Form 4852, which is a substitute, and you have to show that you made a good effort at getting your W-2.
Where To Get Your 1099s:
1099-INTs, MISCs, WHATEVERS, are all mailed out in the same time frame as the W-2s but there is one crucial difference between the W-2 and the 1099, you don’t include the 1099 forms with your return. That information, just like the W-2, has already been reported to the IRS and so it’s only for your use on your return (why this isn’t the case with W-2s, who knows).
The rule of thumb is that anyone who has paid you over $600 this year will issue you a 1099, so if you haven’t received it just call that person or company up and ask for a copy (if they want a fee, just have them tell you what they reported).
As for interest you’ve earned on deposits at banks, all banks will send you a 1099 if you earned more than $10 last year though they will report that amount regardless (Thanks Evan & Tom for the fix, you guys are right, my mind just skipped a beat on that one). Again, all you need to do is fill that information into the appropriate fields on your return, the form itself is unnecessary. If you haven’t received 1099 from all of your accounts, you can usually download them from the bank’s online website. Lately banks have been going the “all electronic” route so you’ll have to log into your account and print it out yourself. If that isn’t available, just stop on by a branch and ask for a printout.