Common Tax Forms to Expect in the Mail, And 5 Scams Most People Fall For
Tax season can be — well — taxing. In fact, to save you and your accountant a lot of grief, it’s a process that should be ongoing throughout the year, like organizing pay stubs, receipts, and staying on top of your quarterly taxes if you’re self-employed.
If you have not done your taxes yet, you will want to file an extension now.
Common Tax Forms You Should Expect In The Mail
However, even if you are on top of everything, you may still have to wait for certain tax forms to be sent to you.
This process of requesting and waiting can get confusing and even stressful when you’re ready to file but are still waiting for one of the following forms:
- W-2: You’ll receive this form for your employer and will include information regarding your wages, tips if applicable, and how much was taken out for payroll, federal, and state taxes.
- 1099-MISC: If you’re a freelancer or consultant who made more than $600 then you’ll receive this form from your clients.
- 1099-K: If you’re a freelancer participating in the on-demand economy, like driving for Lyft, and reported income through a third-party networks, such as PayPal, then expect this form.If you earned more than $20,000 and exceeded 200 transactions throughout the tax year, then you most report this income to the IRS.
- Other 1099 forms: If you’ve received interest from savings or investments, you’ll be mailed a 1099-INT, a 1099-DIV if you reported dividends and distributions from investments, or a 1099-C if you have cancelled debt.
- 1098: If you have a mortgage, then this form should be sent to you.
- 1098-E and 1098-T: The 1098-E will be used to deduct any student loan interest, while the 1098-T discusses any eligible education costs.
- 1095 A, B or C: This will vary on your health insurance coverage, so you could receive one of three different forms. If you purchased health insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace, the you’ll receive Form 1095-A.Keep in mind you do not have to file 1095-B or 1095-C since they’re just for your records.
While this isn’t a comprehensive list, these are the most common tax forms that should be sent to you. But, this could vary depending on your employment situation.
For example, if you’re part of a partnership, limited liability company, S Corporation, or other entity, then you should be receiving a K-1.
Also keep in mind that the deadline for organizations to send these tax documents is January 31st. So, if you don’t receive them by February you definitely want to call the organization to find out what’s going.
However, more and more organizations are sending these forms electronically, so you should receive them more quickly and can access them online if need be.
And, definitely review these forms for accuracy. If you notice an error, such as a misspelling or old address, they need to be corrected ASAP. Contact the organization with the corrections and they’ll send you a new form.
Finally, after you’ve received your forms, and are ready to file your taxes, make sure that you have the following information on had as well;
- Supporting information for tax deductions and credits.
- Social Security numbers for family members.
- Contribution information.
- Charitable Donations.
5 Tax Scams Most People Fall For
As if managing and filing your taxes hectic enough, you also have to be concerned about scams that can trick even the best of us.
1. Phone scams.
Perhaps the most common scam, this is where a fraudster claims to be an IRS agent informing you that you owe money on some tax bill. If you don’t make the payment immediately via debit card or wire transfer, they’ll even threaten to arrest you.
Do you know how sneaky these scammers are? Your caller ID will probably say something on the line of “IRS-IMPORTANT.”
Furthermore, these nefarious individuals have information, like the last four digits of your social, and even have badge numbers and common names.
Here’s the thing: the IRS will never, ever, ever, call you. If you owe money, you’ll be notified through snail mail. If you receive this call, hang up and report it to the IRS.
2. Fraudulent returns.
The number of fraudulent tax returns has soared in recent years. This is where scammers use the Social Security numbers of unsuspecting individuals (e.g., you) in order to file bogus tax returns.
The reason? They’ll get to walk away with these tax refunds. Worse of all, the victim doesn’t even realize that this has happened until it’s too late.
While the IRS has improved its security to thwart this threat, it’s not completely unavoidable. You can, however, lower the risk by filing your tax return as soon as you can, only using your social security number when it’s absolutely necessary.
Don’t throw paperwork containing sensitive information in the trash, and monitor your credit report regularly for any suspicious activity.
3. Email, phishing and malware schemes.
The IRS states it saw “an approximate 400 percent surge in phishing and malware incidents in the 2016 tax season.” In this scheme, fraudsters will send an email or text message claiming that they’re from the IRS and will include a link that takes you to a bogus site that looks like the official IRS site in order to obtain personal information.
Again, the IRS will never contact you through email, text message, or social media.
If you do receive any correspondence that asks you to visit the IRS website, it’s www.irs.gov, and not irsgov, irs.net, or USA.gov.
4. “Federal student tax” scam.
If you’re a student or a parent of a student, scammers may contact you claiming that you have to pay some sort “federal student tax.”
If not, they’ll contact the local authorities.
First off, this bill does not exists. Secondly, the IRS will never threaten to immediately bring in local law enforcement because you haven’t paid a tax bill.
5. Fake tax bills and Affordable Care Act.
Another fake tax bill that you may receive could be regarding the Affordable Care Act or a fake CP2000 notice. What makes this scam so deceiving is that it could be, and has been sent by snail mail.
The best way to determine if it’s fake is by seeing if the information from the notice matches what was reported in your tax return. If not, it’s most likely a scam.
If you have any additional questions, contact the IRS before returning the notice.