Ask the taxgirl: Missing 1099 or Other Tax Forms

Taxpayer asks:

What are my options if an employer has not provided me with my 1099 yet? I have asked them at least once a week since February 15th and keep being told they are coming. I have a full record of how much they have paid me, am I able to just leave their EIN blank and note somewhere they did not provide me w/ my 1099?

Taxgirl says:

You should have received your forms W-2 or 1099 by February 1 this year. Usually, the deadline is January 31 but since it fell over a weekend, your employer had an extra day.

If you haven’t received your forms, you should first contact your employer. It may be that the form got lost and they can just print a new one for you. You might not have received the form because of an incomplete or bad address on file, so check to make sure that your information is correct.

If your employer is no longer in business or has moved, try putting something in writing to the last known address of the employer. If there’s a forwarding order at the post office, your request will get there eventually. Businesses that have wrapped up their affairs are not excused from filing their tax forms.

If you have made the effort to contact the employer and still didn’t receive your forms (or if your forms were incorrect), you can contact the IRS. Call 1.800.829.1040. You’ll need to have your personal information handy, including address, phone number, Social Security Number, your dates of employment and the name, address and phone number of your employer.

The IRS will contact your employer (or the issuer) with a form 4598, Form W-2, 1098 or 1099 Not Received, Incorrect, or Lost. You will receive a copy of the form 4598, along with a form 4852, Substitute for Form W–2 or Form 1099–R.

If you still do not receive your form W-2, you should use file a form 4852 (downloadable here as a pdf). However, the IRS does not want you to file this form until April 15. Of course, that means that you’re likely to need an extension.

I would be careful about filing without your proper forms, just in case your employer has reported income or deductions to the IRS that are different from what you have. This could well be the case if your employer is being, um, perhaps not so forthcoming. That said, I will say that I have filled out tax forms for income that wasn’t reported to me on a form 1099 – I knew there had been no withholding, deductions, etc., and I felt that it was better than the alternative (not reporting).

Like any good lawyer, I need to add a disclaimer: Unfortunately, it is impossible to give comprehensive tax advice over the internet, no matter how well researched or written. Before relying on any information given on this site, contact a tax professional to discuss your particular situation.

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5 thoughts on “Ask the taxgirl: Missing 1099 or Other Tax Forms

  1. I used to go on W&T programs in the US while I was a student and getting my forms was a big problem for me as well. The fact that I didn’t have a permanent US address makes things worse. I started using the services of a tax refund company which did the running instead of me – ironically now I work there 😀

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