Itâs getting to be that time of year againâtax time. And although itâs (probably) no oneâs favorite holiday to celebrate, Tax Day, like any other annual event, does require some preparation.
But what happens if you donât have all your tax information ready to go for April? While keeping track of everything can be a headache, the good news, most of your tax information is probably recoverable, even if it doesnât show up on time. Hereâs what to do.
What Paperwork Do You Need to Keep for Taxes?
There are many different types of IRS forms that contain the information necessary to file a tax return. Which specific forms youâll need will vary depending on your personal financial and demographic circumstances.
Employment and Income
For example, if youâre an employee working to earn wages at a company, your employer will need to supply a W-2 form , which shows both your income and the amount of money that has already been withheld for taxes. If, on the other hand, youâre an independent contractor, youâll receive a different formâthe 1099 , which reports self-employment income as well other types of income like interest and dividends earned on investments. Which, yes, means you might get a 1099 even if youâre an employee if you also have an investment account. Thereâs also such a thing as an SA-1099 , which shows how much has been received in Social Security benefits over the course of the year.
Deductions and Healthcare
Other common forms include the 1098 , which actually occurs in seven different variations and lists certain types of expenses that may be tax deductible, such as mortgage interest or student loan payments, and the 1095, which also occurs several variations and includes information pertaining to healthcare coverage. You may get a 1095-A if you have a healthcare plan off the Marketplace, a 1095-B if you have minimal essential coverage (i.e. Medicare or Medicaid), or 1095-C if you receive employer-provided health insurance.
What Do You Do if You Donât Get Your Tax Forms?
Form 4852 , which serves as a substitute to form W-2, if the W-2 canât be located.
What if You Donât Get Your 1099?
Again, if youâre due to receive a 1099 from an âemployerâ for independent contracting wages, the first step is to reach out to the individual or entity directly. If you arenât sure where the 1099 reporting your investment income is, try logging onto your online brokerage account and clicking around. Digital forms are often offered directly to account-holders online.
The good news is, you arenât technically required to attach your 1099s to your tax return unless taxes were withheld from the payments reported on them. So if you have another record of that incomeâsuch as year-end account statements, in the case of investmentsâyou may be able to file your taxes with that information. (That said, it may be worth double-checking your paperwork with a tax professional.)
What if You Donât Get Your 1095?
If you donât have your 1095, you can reach out to the source it should have come from to figure out where it is. For the 1095-A, log into your Health Insurance Marketplace account and look for the digital version of the form there; if you are expecting a 1095-B or 1095-C, you can reach out to your Medicare/Medicaid office or employer.
That said, this is another form that you might not have to include on your tax return at all. According to the IRS, you should only wait to file if youâre missing form 1095-A; the other two types, 1095-B and 1095-C, are not required.
What if You Donât Get Your 1098?
This is another tax document thatâs not formally required by the IRSâbut it does contain information you probably want to include on your return, since it could translate to a tax deduction.
If you havenât received your 1098 in the mail, one first step is to log into the account you have with the bank or lender that issued the mortgage or student loan. Again, digital tax documents are often offered directly to borrowers through the online portal. If you canât find the documents yourself, call the lenderâs customer service line. You might also be able to find the necessary numbers on your year-end statement.
If You Just Donât Have Your Stuff Together On Time
file for an extension with the IRS, which involvesâof courseâa form: Form 4868 , to be exact. While filing the form gives you until October 15 to get your paperwork in order, keep in mind that it doesnât give you an extended timeline on actually paying your taxes. Any money you owe to the government is still due on Tax Day.
Finally, if you use a tax preparer service, whether a human accountant or smart software product, keep in mind that they likely still have last yearâs information on file, which may help fill in some gaps. Your professional tax preparer can also answer questions you have about properly filing this yearâs return.
Organizing Your Finances The Easy Way
Tax time can be stressful even for the most organized among us, but if your money landscape is already a bit of a mess, finding the right financial products can make a big difference. For example, SoFi MoneyÂ®, a cash management account, can help keep things nice and neat by offering you a birdâs-eye view of your spending habits. Plus, the Vaults feature can help you save for personalized goals, whether thatâs an upcoming home repair or your next big vacation.
Learn more about how SoFi Money could help you Get Your Money RightÂ®.
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