Steps to take when missing important tax documents

Keeping documents and work information organized during tax season can make filing income taxes simpler and less stressful. So when individuals find that they are missing important paperwork before their meeting with a tax preparer, panic can set in. As  a rule, employers, banks and other parties who are responsible for sending taxpayers the necessary forms they will need to file must send out this paperwork by January 31. If weeks have passed and individuals have not received their statements, there are a number of steps to take.

For missing W-2s, workers should first contact their payroll office. Incorrect information, such as a wrong address, could be the culprit for missing W-2s. If this is the case, an employee's company may issue them a replacement W-2 or enable them to pick it up at the office, according to Fox Business. Many companies are now allowing their workers to download this information online, so it may also be expedient to find out if the company offers this retrieval method.

However, if individuals have requested a replacement and have still not received the form, it might be a good idea to contact the Internal Revenue Service. When companies generate W-2s, one copy is sent to the worker, while another is delivered to the IRS. It's likely they will already have consumers' information on file, so taxpayers should be prepared to provide some compensation information - which can be found on their last pay stub - to the agents, Fox Business reports. The IRS will then alert the employer of the issue and send out substitution W-2 forms for the worker.

Deductions and credit information
Individuals likely receive other information from banks, brokerages and lenders that allow them to make deductions. People who find that they are missing Forms 1099 from banks or Forms 1098 for mortgage interest may be able to download this information off their account site. If this information is unavailable online, the service providers should be able to resend these forms. Self-employed workers who made more than $600 during the year are required to submit a 1099 form as well. However, if they do not receive one, workers are still required to report the income on their taxes. 

Knowing how to respond when missing key information can be stressful, so those who are unable to retrieve key tax documents should contact their tax office immediately for guidance on how to proceed. 

 

Posted To: Tax Ranger's Blog By: Tax Ranger On: Thursday, February 14, 2013
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