Those W-2s that we depend on are still coming out at the end of January. But the 1099s don’t have the deadline until the middle of February. Remember those 1099s have things like your Social Security, other pensions. If you have investments, those will show up on a 1099. Any income that is not on those W-2s from your employer will be on that 1099.
Some advantages that we have now: many of the forms can be found online. You may be able to go to your accounts, and certainly many employers are offering those W-2s online. Also, look at last year’s filing. Use that as a guide for any kind of income or deductions. And don’t forget to track all of those deductions: your contributions you made to charities, your medical expenses, the mortgage interest (we still get a deduction for that). And on your investment accounts, we have a change in law so that now many of those investment accounts have cost basis on that form. That’s what you need to report any kind of gain or loss.
As for filing, well, look to a CPA or other tax preparer. You can file for free with the IRS if you make below a certain income level (at the time of this recording, below $58,000 in your household). But those forms are available for everyone on the IRS website. There is a volunteer group called VITA (volunteer tax preparers). You can find locations for those folks.
Most people do e-file. Most filing is happening electronically.
And the IRS has an app called IRS2Go. You can get it for your smartphone. So if you’ve already filed, and you’re looking for that refund, you can check to see where your refund is in the process, get tax tips, find that VITA volunteer, request tax records, and even just contact the IRS. You can even follow the IRS on Twitter if you’d like to.
Remember the deadline is April 15th. Don’t forget. Get your forms together.