Act quickly to replace missing tax paperwork

Most individuals spend January and February awaiting their W-2 and 1099 forms from employers, lenders and other entities, and March organizing their supporting tax documents, such as invoices, receipts and financial records. But what happens when taxpayers lose or do not receive all the documents they need to file their taxes? It's not uncommon to misplace a W-2 form or a 1099, but take the necessary actions to avoid filing incorrectly or losing out on important benefits.

First, it's important to know the mailing deadlines to avoid getting anxious or stressed before the forms are even delivered. By law, all tax information must be mailed out by employers and other groups by January 31, meaning individuals may not receive them until the first week of February. If this period has passed, it may be time to contact certain parties.

Employers are required to keep copies of W-2 forms, so workers who don't receive them can call their company and request a copy quite easily, according to Fox Business. Employers must also submit a copy of the W-2 to the IRS, so in the event that a worker is having difficulties securing a copy of their forms, they also have the option of contacting the tax agency by submitting Form 4506-T to request it.

When it comes to 1099 forms, many can be requested directly from the party responsible for sending them. For example, financial institutions may be able to provide 1099 documents if taxpayers contact their customer service line, Fox Business reports. In some cases, individuals may also be able to download them. When it comes to other sources of income, however, such as self-employment compensation or earnings from gambling, individuals may not always receive a 1099 unless they made over $600. However, it's still important that individuals report this income on their taxes.

Lastly, individuals who lose documentation supporting credits and deductions should search for them, as they may not be able to apply for these benefits without supporting evidence. Different tax benefits require certain pieces of evidence in order for an individual to claim them. Speak to a tax preparer about the types of documents and paperwork the IRS will accept to claim a deduction or credit. It's better to be safe than sorry when writing off costs.

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Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.

About Liberty Tax Service 
Liberty Tax Service is the fastest -growing retail tax preparation company in the industry’s history.  Founded in 1997 by CEO John T. Hewitt, a pioneer in the tax industry, Liberty Tax Service has prepared over 8,000,000 individual income tax returns.  With 42 years of tax industry experience, Hewitt stands as the most experienced CEO in the tax preparation business, having also founded Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.   

Liberty Tax Service is the only tax franchise on the Forbes “Top 20 Franchises to Start,” and ranks #1 of the tax franchises on the Entrepreneur “Franchise 500.” Each office provides computerized income tax preparation, electronic filing, and online filing through eSmart Tax.
Posted To: Tax Ranger's Blog By: Tax Ranger On: Tuesday, January 17, 2012
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