Your mailbox has probably started filling up with tax forms over the last several weeks and there are likely more to come. Getting these forms organized makes your tax filing easier for everyone involved. Here are some tips on how to handle all the forms you get and to prevent any potential problems.
Collect Them All
Check your tax records from last year, and make a list of the forms you received. Add any new accounts, employers, or vendors and check the forms off as you get them. Gathering all your forms is important because the IRS gets copies of each form sent to them as well. Missing one can trigger an IRS correspondence audit, creating extra work and possibly delaying your refund.
Check for Digital Forms
More employers, banks, and others are making their tax forms available to you electronically, so you may not get a paper form in the mail. Be sure to check your email inbox for any missing forms before you file, and don’t forget to check your “junk” or “spam” email folders as well, just in case any tax information accidentally ends up there.
Double check to see if there are any errors on the forms you receive. If there are, contact the issuer via phone and in writing to get the problem fixed. If you can't get a corrected form, still report everything on your forms to the IRS, but add a correction explaining the error when you file your return. That way you can still file without waiting for the issuer to send you a corrected form.
Commonly Overlooked Forms
While getting all your W-2 and 1099 forms is important, there are two crucial forms that you also need before you file: