It’s that time of year again. No, not a new season of The Bachelor. We’re talking about tax season and all of the paperwork that goes with it.
There are many different types of tax forms, and you’ll probably need a few of them to complete your tax return by the April 18 deadline. So which ones should you keep an eye out for in your mailbox (or inbox)?
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most common forms that could be coming your way soon, and the situations when they apply.
Which tax forms will I need?
That depends on your financial situation. Read: whether you worked full-time, were self-employed, made investing moves, etc. There are a few common tax forms you could expect to get:
If you earned more than $600 from an employer at any point last year, they’re required to send you a W-2. This shows how much income you earned, how much tax was withheld from your paychecks, certain benefits info, and more. If you’re missing a W-2 form, you might have to go online to access it, or it could have been sent to the wrong address. Talk to your HR department to sort it out.
Form 1099-MISC or 1099-NEC
If you received side hustle income, or are self-employed, there’s a good chance you’ll need a 1099-MISC or a 1099-NEC form to do your taxes. (Hint: the difference comes down to whether or not you’re subject to self-employment taxes — if so, you’ll get a 1099-NEC, if not, you’ll get a 1099-MISC.) If you worked for a company as a contractor, the company’s HR department will make sure you get the right form.
Received unemployment compensation in 2021? If so, you’ll be getting a Form 1099-G from the government. Because yes, unemployment benefits are taxable income in 2021.
This form is used to report most types of interest income (think: from savings accounts, savings bonds, etc. ). The interest you earn on these accounts gets added to your regular earnings and is taxed at your same income rate. You only pay additional taxes if you have earnings from capital gains, interest, or dividends totaling over $200,000 as a single filer or $250,000 for couples filing jointly.
You’ll receive a 1099-DIV if you earned dividends from a stock you held. Or if a mutual fund you own made capital gains distributions to you. If these situations don’t apply, don’t worry about this form. But you may want to check in with your investment company if you think it’s missing.
Have student loans? If so, and you paid interest, you’ll receive a 1098-E. You may be able to deduct this amount from your taxes, depending on your income. Generally, this form is downloaded from your servicer’s website.
If you paid more than $600 in interest on your mortgage, a 1098 form is likely headed your way. There should be one form for each mortgage you have. If you didn’t pay $600 in interest, you may not receive this form.
Did you get health insurance through the federal marketplace? If so, you’ll need this form. You can find it at healthcare.gov when logged into your account.
In college or pay tuition this year? If so, you’ll be getting a 1098-T. This form comes from the school and shows the total amount you paid for tuition and other qualifying educational expenses like fees and required expenses for courses.
Own a business that took payments from credit or debit cards, or did over $20,000 worth of transactions on a payment app like Venmo, Zelle, or CashApp? If so, you might be getting this form for the 2021 filing year. Psst…that threshold drops to $600 for the 2022 tax year.
What if I got a stimulus or child-tax credit payment?
Check your mail for…
If you received economic impact payments (aka stimulus checks) in 2021, you’ll be receiving this letter from the IRS in the mail. You’ll use it to make sure you got all the stimulus you’re owed — and if not, this letter will help you fix that when you file your taxes.
If you received advanced child tax credit payments in 2021, watch for this doc. It not only helps you report your advance payments correctly but also helps you claim the other half of the credit. If you’re missing this letter, check the child tax credit portal at www.irs.gov to get it.
When can I file my taxes?
Tax season started on January 24 and ends on April 18. The IRS is already overwhelmed (relatable) and expecting delays on refunds. Filing asap means getting closer to the front of that long bottleneck. But be sure you have all the forms you need on hand to make it official. You can amend a tax return if you get a form later, but it’s complicated. Having all of the forms you’re owed prior to hitting “file” will help save Future You a lot of time and trouble.
There are a lot of tax forms out there, but some are more common than others. You’ll probably need to be on the lookout for a W-2 from an employer or any 1099s if you’re self-employed or earned more than $600 from a single company. Then see what other forms apply to your life and financial situation.
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