Watch Your Mailboxes: ‘Tis the Season Important Tax Documents Arrive

Teresa L. Clark

Nearly 100,000 taxpayers haven’t received their 2010 refund check from the IRS due to mailing address errors. The IRS announced last week that the average amount of these checks is $1,547, which most would agree is a tidy sum. Not getting your tax refund is bad and avoidable, as is not claiming all the tax breaks you are entitled.

Some people don’t have the documents necessary to substantiate what they can claim; it is pretty hard to claim an amount if you don’t know what it is. In addition to some people not making sure the IRS has their correct address, financial institutions and other organizations might not have it either, making it difficult to get these very important tax-related documents.

The documents you need depends on your personal finances and they may vary from year to year based on personal finances and life changes, like going to college, getting married and having a baby. The envelopes of some of these documents will actually have “important tax document” printed on the front. Also, be on the lookout for e-mails from financial institutions, brokers and others notifying you that tax documents are available via their website.

The following is a partial list of tax-related documents to keep an eye out for in mailboxes – traditional and electronic – in the next couple months.

Employee wages

Self-employment information

  • Forms 1099-MISC
  • Schedules K-1

Retirement income

  • Pension/IRA/annuity income (1099-R)
  • Social security/RRB income (1099-SSA, RRB-1099)

Other income

  • Unemployment compensation (depending on state)
  • State tax refund (1099-G)
  • Gambling income (W-2G)
  • Health care reimbursements (1099-SA or 1099-LTC)

Savings and investments

  • Interest income, dividend income (1099-INT, 1099-OID, 1099-DIV)
  • Income from sales of stock, mutual funds or other property (1099-B, 1099-S)

Education

  • Tuition charged or billed and scholarships received (Form 1098-T)
  • Student loan interest statement (Form 1098-E)
  • Distributions from 529 plan or Coverdell Education Savings Account (Form 1099-Q)

Itemized deductions

  • Mortgage interest statements (Form 1098)
  • Receipts for state/local income tax paid (other than wage withholding)
  • Receipts for real estate tax paid
  • Receipts for personal property tax paid
  • Bank statements showing interest paid
  • Summaries of health care expenses

To get a customized checklist of what paperwork you need to prepare your taxes accurately, use H&R Block’s questionnaire.

 

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