When you don’t receive an informational tax form you need to do your taxes, you’ll still be required to report that information on your return. You may need to contact the business that should have issued the form or to simply use your own records to add the necessary items to your tax return.
W-2 and 1099 Forms
If you don’t receive a W-2, your first step should be to contact the employer and ask for it. If you can’t reach them or they won’t send you the form, you are still required to report the income you earned from that employer.
Use Form 4852, Substitute for W-2, to report income for a missing or incorrect W-2. Use your pay stubs or other records to estimate how much you earned during the tax year.
If you are paid as an independent contractor, you won’t always receive a 1099-MISC form. The general rule is that businesses should give 1099 forms to contractors who billed at least $600 in services during the year. However, if the payment were sent over a third-party payment network such as PayPal or Upwork, then the payment network is responsible for submitting a 1099-K form.
Since you may not receive a 1099 for some of your clients, make sure you keep accurate pay records and use them when completing your taxes. This can be a lot of work if you have many clients and accept different payment methods, so use a professional tax preparer if you need assistance.
Problems Caused by Missing Forms
If you don’t receive a tax form, don’t take that as a sign you don’t have to report that income. It’s possible that the form was lost or misplaced, so make an effort to get another copy or report the income from your own records.
You could face the following issues if you fail to report a W-2 or other tax form on your return:
- The IRS flags your return for a tax audit because it doesn’t match the information in IRS records.
- You have to amend your return once you realize the error, which must be done by mail.
- Your tax return is adjusted and you receive a surprise tax bill.
Take the time to gather all your tax forms and determine if any or missing or incorrect to avoid potential problems with your tax return.
Get help with an IRS tax audit by calling The Gartzman Law Firm at (770) 939-7710. We can communicate with the IRS on your behalf and dispute any adjustments made to your return.