If you’re like the 40% of taxpayers who filed before the end of February last year, you’re probably itching to do file your taxes already. For you, it doesn’t matter when taxes are due (Monday April 15th 2013, by the way) – you want to know how early you can file your taxes. If you plan to use TurboTax (highly recommended) check out these Turbo Tax discounts where you can save up to 35% on TurboTax!
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Now you can technically file your taxes in the first week of January, especially if you are self employed, kept great records last year, and don’t need to wait on any tax forms like W-2’s or 1099’s. But for those who received a paycheck from an employer, interest from a savings account, or other forms of income, you should wait to have all tax documents in hand.
Before you jump the gun and file before you have all the right documents, take a minute to see what tax forms you need this year so that you can make sure you do your taxes correctly. Don’t just assume you know which tax bracket you fall in because of your last pay stub. Wait until you receive the official tax forms so that you file properly.
Which Tax Forms Do I Need?
The good news is employers are required to send out tax forms (including 1099’s and W-2’s) by January 31st. The IRS encourages you to wait until February 14th before you contact your employer about sending the appropriate tax form.
Common tax statements to watch for:
W-2 – This is what most people will use to show their income and taxes paid for the year. Each employer that you worked for will send a W-2 if you were on their payroll as an employee of the company.
1098 – If you paid mortgage interest last year, your lender will send a 1098 to you. Since mortgage interest is tax-deductible, you’ll want to make sure you have this document when you do your taxes.
1098 E – If you’re paying on a student loan, your lender is required to send a 1098 E if you paid over $600 in interest for the year.1099-INT – Anyone who receives $10 or more in interest from a savings account at a bank or other financial institution will be issued a 1099-INT. You must claim the interest as income even if you reinvested it into your savings.
1099-DIV – If you received earnings from individual stocks or mutual funds, you’ll be issued a 1099-DIV. This form will display any dividends or capital gains distributed over $10 or more last year.
1099-B – The sale of a stock, bond, or mutual fund within a brokerage account will result in a 1099-B to be sent to you. Make sure you have the date of when you purchased and sold the shares of stock.
1099-G – This form will show any unemployment income you received while you were out of work last year. A separate 1099-G is also issued to those who received a state or local tax return last year – the amount on this form is generally reported if you used the state and local taxes as a deduction on your taxes last year.
1099-R – If you received a distribution from a qualified retirement account, you’ll be issued a 1099-R. This form shows the taxable amount of the distribution. Required minimum distributions and rollovers will also trigger a 1099-R to be sent to you. A direct rollover, however, should show a taxable amount as ‘0’.
1099-MISC – Self-employed individuals earning $600 or more from an employer should be issued a 1099-MISC showing the income earned from last year.
Form 5498 – If you converted a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA or recharacterized a Roth IRA into a traditional IRA, you’ll use the information on form 5498 to record the event to the IRS. This form is often released around May 31 of each year.
Schedule K-1 – Any money you receive from a trust, partnership, or estate should be recorded on a schedule K-1 form. The deadline is March 15th to send these forms out, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see it right away.
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