As you’re waiting patiently for all your tax forms to arrive, it might be a good idea to review.
Wages – If you worked in 2011, you will get one of 2 forms. The most common is the W-2 that lists your wages and withholding. There is no minimum. Even if you worked a few hours, you should get a W-2. On the other hand, if your employer treated you like a contract labor, you will get a 1099MISC from them. There is a minimum on the 1099MISC. If they paid you under $600, they aren’t required to send you a form. They can send you a 1099MISC if they choose and you are required to include what they paid you whether or not you get the form.
Interest – You will get a 1099INT from the bank or other payer if you earned over $10 of interest for the year. If your interest is under $10, they are not required to send the form but you are required to report it. And it doesn’t matter if you actually received the cash or left it into the account, it’s taxable.
Dividends – These are reported on a 1099DIV and the same rules apply as for interest.
Retirement – Pensions and IRA distributions are reported on 1099R. Don’t rely on a check stub. The 1099R provides more info than just the amount you received.
Social Security – The SSA-1099 shows the total benefits paid to you and for you. This is the amount that is reported on your tax return.
Prior Year State Refund – If you itemized deductions the previous year you should get a 1099G from the state. This may not be the correct amount to report. There is a calculation that might reduce the taxable amount. This is why a new preparer would want a copy of your prior year return.
Unemployment – A 1099G is also used to report any unemployment you received in 2011.
Sales – Sales of stock and mutual funds will be reported on a 1099B. This will be adjusted to create a gain or lost that eventually makes it way to the 1040. If you sale property, that will be reported on a 1099S. The exception is if you sold your personal residence and the reporting agent knows you qualify for the exclusion for sale of personal residence. It’s also possible to sell something and not receive a form for it. Check with your preparer about you specific situation.
Business Income – This also includes farming. While you might get a 1099MISC for some of your business income, it’s up to you to keep track of your income and report it.
Rental Income - If a business is paying you rents for property or equipment, you should get a 1099MISC if the amount is over $600. Individuals are not required to provide the forms and you are required to report all the income whether you get a 1099MISC or not.
Alimony – Since they are payments from an individual, they aren’t reported on a form. But, they are taxable and need to make it on your return.
Gambling - If your gambling income is from winning, you may be given a W-2G. This form has several minimums depending on how the money is won. A 1099MISC might be used if you won a tournament or prize. And yes, even if you don’t get a W-2G or 1099MISC, you report any gambling income.
Share of another entity – If you are a partner in a partnership, shareholder in a S-Corp, or beneficiary of an estate or trust, you should receive a K-1 breaking down your part of taxable income.
There you are- the most common sources of income and their forms (if they have one.) If you have income from a source I haven’t mentions, ask your preparer. Remember, just because you didn’t receive a form reporting the income, you are still responsible for including it on your return. The minimums are for the convenience of the payer not the recipient.