It’s everyone’s favorite time of year: tax season! While I’m sure most of you are not jumping up and down in excitement about this, the tax filing deadline (April 18th, 2023) will be here before you know it. Now is a great time to look through your files to make sure you have all your tax documents in order so that you are prepared when you meet with your accountant. For retired individuals, even though you are no longer working, you still need to report and pay tax, where appropriate, on your sources of retirement income. This income can include, but not be limited to, interest, dividends, pensions, Social Security, and retirement plan distributions. Each of these income sources has a different income tax characteristic, but don’t worry, each financial institution is required to provide you with all the information you will need to file your income tax return. Below you will find a list of the most important tax documents retirees should have in their possession before meeting with the accountant.
- Form 1099-INT – if you earned more than $10 of interest in your bank accounts (checking, savings, CDs, money market) then you will be receiving a Form 1099-INT. This form will detail the amount of interest you earned in the accounts over the year so that you can report the income on your tax return. These forms are typically sent to account holders by January 31st.
- Form 1099-DIV – if you own individual stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, etc. then you will receive a Form 1099-DIV. This form will provide you with the amount of dividends that were distributed to you as a shareholder over the course of the year. This form will also highlight if the dividends received are considered qualified (subject to a preferential tax rate) or non-qualified (subject to ordinary income tax rates). Like the 1099-INT, these forms are sent to shareholders by January 31st.
- 1099-B – if you maintain a taxable brokerage account, then the custodian will provide you with a Form 1099-B. Not only will this form indicate the amount of interest and dividends earned in the brokerage account, but will also report the amount of realized short-term and long-term gains and losses. While each custodian is different, most will send the reports to accountholders in mid-February.
- Form 1099-R – if you received a pension or retirement plan distributions in 2022, then you will receive a 1099-R. This form not only indicates the gross amount that you received over the course of the year, but also reflect the amount of federal and state tax withheld from the distributions. These forms are typically mailed by January 31st.
- 1099-SSA – if you receive Social Security, the US Government will provide you with form 1099-SSA. Similar to the Form 1099-R, this document will provide you with the gross amount of Social Security earned in the previous year and the amount of federal and statement withholding. These forms typically go out by January 31st.
- Forms W-2 – if you worked part-time (or even full-time) in retirement, you will receive a Form W-2. This form details your taxable earnings for the year. In addition, the W-2 will provide you with the amount of tax withheld from your pay, the number of premiums paid for health insurance, and any retirement plan contributions. This form is typically provided to employees by January 31st.
While this covers the income side of the equation, you don’t want to forget about your tax deductions. If reporting your income is important, then so too are your deductions! Therefore, retirees will want to ensure that they have the forms that detail their deductible expenses. For example Form 1098 for mortgage interest. In addition, you may also have documentation for medical bills, charitable donations, property taxes paid throughout the year, and dependent care provided.