Dr. King's fights against injustice included a state tax battle
Do you have to file a tax return? Probably

Tax statements you need to file your 2023 return

Tax reporting statements

You're ready to file your tax return, but there's one problem. You don't have all the statements you need to complete your Form 1040 and associated schedules.

Many of us, however, are just going to have to be patient for a couple more weeks. While some issuers have sent taxpayers the required statements, many don't get them out until close to, in most cases, the mandated Jan. 31 delivery date.

The documents typically are snail mailed, but technology is gaining ground. Issuers of most of my annual tax statements now let me know by email the documents are ready. Then I just go to the websites, sign in to my accounts, and download the tax forms.

The exact tax-related documents differ from taxpayer to taxpayer, but there are some common ones most people get every year. They detail the various types of money we received, from wages to independent contracting gigs to letting our money make more money via investments. It is, after all, called an income tax.

Even filers who were out of work during the prior tax year will get a statement about their unemployment benefits. Yes, that money is taxable income.

But wait, there's more.

Homeowners with a mortgage should get information from their lenders about tax-related loan interest and property taxes paid from escrow accounts. Retirees will get statements detailing their pension and other retirement account distributions. Others will get tax documents connected to their health care coverage.

Tax form lookout list: OK, enough preface. It's time to take a look at the specific tax forms that are sent in the above, and more, situations.

The listing below is of some of the more popular tax information documents, and mostly in numerical order.

The bold-type titles are, in most cases, links to the official IRS documents. Most should be the 2023 tax year versions, but a few might still be undergoing IRS review and updates. In those cases, check back later to see the automatic updates of current filing year forms.

Finally, one more time, most of them must be sent to taxpayers and copied to the IRS by Jan. 31. Some statements, however, get a few more weeks. And some don't show up until well after Tax Day. Where a later delivery is allowed, it's noted in the brief discussions of the forms

Now, finally, to the forms.

W-2 — This is the tax form that most folks anxiously await. It's the wage statement from your employer (or employers, if you hold more than one job) that details how much money you made, how much income tax was withheld, the amounts taken out for Social Security and Medicare, and contributions to workplace benefit programs, such as 401(k) and similar retirement plans, medical accounts, and child care reimbursement plans.

W-2G — If you're lucky, you'll get this earnings statement. It's specially designed to reported gambling winnings, hence the appended G. It's sent to winners who get:

  • $1,200 or more from bingo or slot machines,
  • $1,500 or more in winnings (reduced by the wager) from keno,
  • More than $5,000 in winnings (reduced by the wager or buy-in) from a poker tournament,
  • $600 or more in gambling winnings (except winnings previously noted) and the payout is at least 300 times the amount of the wager, and
  • Any other gambling winnings subject to federal income tax withholding.

1095 form series — This A, B, and C form series was created to report Affordable Care Act data. However, political battles over the health care coverage popularly known as Obamacare have changed some things.

Stethoscope on top of 100 dollar bills

The Republican tax reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, eliminated the individual mandate penalty at the start of the 2019 tax year. That penalty was the amount that previously was added to your taxes if you didn't have what was deemed adequate insurance coverage.

However, the TCJA did not do away with the associated Obamacare reporting requirements. By law, the forms still must be issued.

That means you still might get at least one of the 1095 series insurance coverage tax statements listed below even though you don't need it/them for federal filing purposes to document your current tax year medical coverage and avoid the now-gone federal penalty.

Note, however, that while the federal enrollment mandate and penalty is gone, some states still require their residents to get medical coverage or pay a price.

Due to the TCJA changes, the IRS has extended some of the deadlines for issuing these forms. State deadlines, however, could be different. So basically, just keep your eyes open for these forms.

You'll need the A version to reconcile or claim any ACA premium tax credit (PTC) you got in advance or are eligible to file for on your return. The B and C versions are informational and you can simply store them with your other tax records for the year.

  • Form 1095-A, the Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, debuted for the 2015 tax year. Per its name, it is sent by the exchanges where individuals purchased their medical coverage. As noted, use its data in connection with PTC claims.
  • Form 1095-B is issued by health care insurance issuers or some smaller companies that provide coverage for employees. It confirms that you had workplace-provided healthcare that met the ACA's acceptable minimal health insurance coverage standard. It also shows how long you were covered and which family members also were on your policy.
  • Form 1095-C is the same as B, but is issued by large employers.

1098 — This form lists how much mortgage interest a homeowner paid on the loan. In most cases, this amount is fully deductible for taxpayers who itemize. The IRS has an official 1098 form (that's what the 1098 link will show you), but most lenders (like every bank that's given us a mortgage) tend to use a substitute document that contains the same data.

This form also includes another key itemized tax deduction, the amount of real estate taxes on the property that the mortgage lender paid on your behalf the previous tax year. Despite Congressional efforts to eliminate or expand the TCJA's limit on the $10,000 deduction limit on property and other state and local taxes (SALT) taxes, the cap is still in effect. Keep that in mind, regardless of the amount shown on this form.

1098-E — The interest paid on your student loan is reported on this form and is sent by your lender it the interest tally is at least $600. You may be able to deduct this interest and possibly other loan-related amounts, such as origination fees and capitalized interest.

1098-T — Universities issue this tuition statement to students. It shows the amount of qualified education expenses the college kid paid. The info is needed to help in the claiming of education-related tax benefits, such as the American Opportunity or Lifetime Learning tax credits.

1099-INT — You'll get one of these forms for each savings, certificate of deposit (CD), or other investment account in which you earned more than $10 in interest. Even if you reinvested the interest instead of receiving it as a cash payment, it still counts as taxable income.

1099-DIV — Earnings from stocks and mutual funds are reported here, including dividends and capital gains distributed that are more than $10. As with reinvested interest, if you used the dividends or distributions to buy more shares, you still have to pay taxes. However, the distributions and certain, qualified dividends are taxed at the lower capital gains rates.

1099-B — If you sold stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, you will receive a 1099-B from your broker or mutual fund company. It will detail the number of shares sold, when sold and the amount of the sale. Since 2011, brokers also have been providing information on the basis (the cost of an asset plus some adjustments) of sold stock. This information, along with the date you bought the shares and the amount you paid for them, will help you figure your taxes on your profit. 1099-B forms are due to investors by Feb. 15.

1099-G — When you get a refund of state or local taxes, you'll get this form. If you claimed those taxes as an itemized deduction on your previous year's federal tax return, you must report the 1099-G amount as income in the year received. A 1099-G also goes out to anyone who receives unemployment benefits, which count as taxable income.

1099-K — With the group of gig jobs and electronic payment options, Form 1099-K has becoming increasingly important. And confusing. 1099-K info covers payments you got via credit or debit cards or from third-party settlement organizations (TPSOs), such as Venmo, Zelle, Uber, Lyft, PayPal, Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and the like.

A change on the mandated reporting amount, however, has been delayed yet again and is in flux.

Originally, Form 1099-K for Payment Card and Third Party Network Transactions, went to taxpayers who made at least $20,000 or had 200 or more transactions. Lawmakers felt too much money was escaping taxations, so they added a provision to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 that reduced the issuance requirement to just $600 in earnings.

As the ARPA reporting change neared, payment issuers, taxpayers, and the tax community raised concerns about the form's accuracy since personal cash app transfers are NOT part of new IRS reporting rule. So the IRS in late 2022 declared 2023 a transition year for 1099-K reporting, making the forms' issuance voluntary, not mandatory.

Then last November, the IRS delayed the 1099-K implementation yet again. Now, it is expecting 1099-K forms to be issued in 2025 for affected 2024 earnings. Plus, the IRS unilaterally increased the reporting amount from the law's $600 to $5,000.

All these delays notwithstanding, and questions about the IRS' decision to lower the reporting amount, don't be surprised if you do get a 1099-K this year.

1099-MISC — In 2020, this form changed from the document used to report payments for gig or contract work (that's now 1099-NEC; it's next in this list), to the tax statement for the reporting of rent or royalty payments or prizes and awards, such as winnings from television or radio show contest. Form 1099-MISC also will go to some other more esoteric payments, such as fish purchases paid in cash for resales; payments to crew members by owners or operators of fishing boats including payments of proceeds from sale of catch; and crop insurance proceeds.


One thing stays the same, though. When a 1099-MISC is required, it will be issued when the payment amount is aid them $10 or more in royalties, or $600 or more in other types of miscellaneous income during a calendar year. The issuance date also is a bit later in some cases. It's not due until Feb. 15 if amounts are reported in box 8 (substitute payments in lieu of dividends or interest) or box 10 (gross proceeds paid to an attorney).

1099-NEC — This form was revived to primarily report what I call freelance work performed by self-employed individuals. The IRS' official name for these earnings is non-employee compensation, which explains the NEC acronym. You should get one if you earned $600 or more from a job. You also should get a separate 1099-NEC from each client that paid you that much. This roughly is the self-employed version of a W-2 without, of course, any taxes paid via withholding. These should have been paid via estimated taxes. And remember that even if you don't get a Form 1099-NEC for a job because the remuneration was less than $600, that $1 to $599 payment still is taxable income.

1099-R — If you received a pension or a distribution from an individual retirement account or workplace retirement plan, you'll get a Form 1099-R with those details. The form is issued by your broker, pension plan manager or mutual fund company. Even if you rolled the retirement money into another employer-provided 401(k) plan or an IRA, you'll still get a 1099-R. The form has several boxes that differentiate any taxable amount from the gross (total) distribution amount. You'll also get a 1099-R if you converted a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Again, a rollover usually is not a taxable event, but a pension payout may be.

The 1099 forms discussed above are the most commonly issued versions of this tax statement. However, there are many other 1099s with other appended letters. You can more about the various 1099s, what triggers their issuance and when each form is supposed to be supplied to you in my earlier post on the many versions of IRS Form 1099.

5498 — Any contributions you make during the tax year to any individual retirement account are reported on this form. It shows traditional IRA contributions that might be deductible on your tax return, as well as any rollovers, including a direct rollover to a traditional IRA, made during the last tax year. It also reports amounts that were recharacterized from one type of IRA to another. 5498 forms with information on your contributions to such accounts don't have to be mailed to you until May 31. This extra time is allowed to account for contributions that can be made up until the annual tax filing date, typically April 15, of the following year. However, the IRS does say that the issuer should make the retirement account's fair market value (FMV) and, if applicable, required minimum distribution (RMD) information, available by Jan. 31.

5498-ESA — This account reporting form has details on contributions to Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, formerly known as Education IRAs. The youngster named as beneficiary of the Coverdell should get a copy of this document by April 30. This information is important is you went overboard last year in contributing to this educational savings vehicle. If your total contributions made to all your Coverdell ESAs for 2023 exceeded $2,000, you must withdraw the excess, plus earnings, by May 31, 2024, or you may owe a penalty.

Schedule K-1 — If you got money from an estate, trust, partnership, or S corporation last year, you should get a Schedule K-1. However, because of the complexity of many of these financial arrangements, account managers tend to send out K-1s later in the tax season, often not until well after the April tax return filing deadline.

That's why filers who get K-1 forms usually file another popular piece of tax paperwork, Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File. This gets you six more months to get your K-1 and any other tax statements you need to fill out your Form 1040.

Documenting your generosity: Millions of folks donate to charity. That personal philanthropy can help taxpayers who itemize. You can claim qualified gifts on Schedule A.

Most charities automatically issue receipts, usually at the time the gift is made. Many also have their systems set up to also send out letters with that info at the start of the following year, like the one I mentioned at the start of this post.

In most cases, you don't have to include donation receipts or other acknowledgments with your return. But you'll need the verification if the IRS questions the deductibility of your gift(s). Plus, they're good reminders of a potential tax break.

So keep those letters you get this month from nonprofits with the rest of your tax forms and documents.

Also note those cases where you do need the extra documentation, such as appraisals for high-value donations like art works.  The taxpayer argued that he didn't need the appraisal because he didn't donate any individual item worth more than $5,000. However, he misread the appraisal rules.. You don't want to

Tax form tip graphicOK, I know this is a long post covering a lot of tax statements. But before you leave, check out these related tax form tips.

Substitute forms acceptable: The tax docs reviewed and linked (for the most part) in this post are the official IRS versions. However, you probably will get a slightly different looking document.

That's OK. The IRS gives companies leeway to use statements that fit their software and system. We get a regular 8x10-inch page from our mortgage company every January with our home loan details.

Just look for the notation on the reporting document of the form number you're expecting, as well as its identification as a "substitute" tax statement.

Double check data: Regardless of the statements' format, and how you get them, definitely double check the entries as soon as you receive or download the documents.

If you find a discrepancy against your own records, call the payor and get an explanation. By catching any mistake early, you'll be able to get the correct information in plenty of time to accurately file your tax return by the April deadline.

Information only, but not to be ignored: A copy of the most widely delivered tax statement, Form W-2 with its salary information, must be included with your return.

But most of the other third-party tax documents in this list are for information only, yours as well as Uncle Sam's. The IRS uses its copies to double check our returns. When there's a mismatch between the IRS' tax information copy and your tax return entries, you'll hear from the tax agency.

So hang on to these third-party statements as part of your regular tax filing recordkeeping.

That IRS duplicate filing information is also why you shouldn't even think about filing before you get all your tax statements that are copied to the IRS.

Yes, it's frustrating, especially if you're expecting a refund. But tax here patience is your best move. It can keep you from, at best, having to explain your filing to the IRS or, at worst, having your return processing, and associated refund, delayed.

You also might find these items of interest:



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