Financial Planning Friday: How to Know Which Tax Forms You Need

February 2nd, 2018 by Anchor Bay Capital's Investment Team

February is upon us!  Over the last few weeks you have probably been getting all kinds of notifications about your tax forms and where to find them.  As you start building your file to get your taxes done, it is easy to feel a little unsure of all the forms that you need.  Here is a helpful list of common forms and what they are.  As you read the list, it may be helpful to mark which ones may apply to you so that you have an action plan on what to track down.  Make sure to follow our posts through February as we discuss more tax ideas and strategies.  You can subscribe to the blog or follow us on Facebook to get updates.



W-2: This form shows your wages you’ve earned and the taxes that you’ve paid on those earnings.  You should have a W-2 from each employer

W-2G:  This reports winnings and losses from gambling, lottery, raffles, etc.

1099-A: You would get this as a consequence of a foreclosure or bank repossession.

1099-B: This form is filed by a broker or barter exchange for those who have sold commodities, future contracts, foreign currency contracts, options, etc. for cash.  If a stock you own has a substantial change in ownership structure you would receive this form also.

1099-C: This reports debts that have been cancelled for $600 or more.  This cancelled debt is claimed as income and when you pay taxes the creditor cannot claim the debt again.

1099-DIV: This is a common form from your investment accounts.  It declares your dividends and capital gain distributions.

1099-G: This is for payments from government agencies (state and local tax refunds, unemployment benefits, taxable grants, etc.)

1099-INT: You will most likely get this from banks and other financial institutions.  This shows your interest income of $10 or more.

1099-LTC: This form shows distributions from Long Term Care insurance policies and accelerated death benefits from life insurance policies or viatical settlements.

1099-MISC: This is for more than $600 of miscellaneous income.  This could include commissions, bonuses, awards, rents, medical payments, farming proceeds, etc.

1099-MSA: Distributions from Medical Savings Accounts

1099-OID: This is for original issue discounts of $10 or more.  This refers to bond instruments.  If the bond was issued at less than its face amount the discount is considered income.

1099-PATR: Not very common, but refers to distributions from co-ops to their patrons.

1099-R: This is for distributions from retirement, pension, profit-sharing plans, IRAs, annuities, etc.  You should review transactions that happen in these accounts and compare to your 1099-R.  It also reports 1035 exchanges, excess deferrals and excess contributions.

1099-S: This form reports proceeds from real estate transactions and exchanges.

Deductible Payments


1098:  This form reports mortage interest paid of $600 or more.  It also shows prepaid interest or “points”.

1098-C: This is for donating an auto, boat or aircraft to a charity.  The donation needs to be worth $500 or more.

1098-E:  This shows your interest paid on student loans.  If you paid more than $600 in interest the institution is required to send you a form, but you still may get one for amounts lower than the $600.

1098-T:  This shows how much you have paid for tuition at colleges or universities.  It also shows grants or scholarships that you receive through the school.

Here is a checklist of other items that you may need to gather for taxes:


  • SSN and DOB for all of your family members
  • Alimony records
  • Profit/loss statements
  • Rental property expenses
  • Record of IRA contributions
  • Receipts of energy-efficient home improvements
  • Health/Medical payments
  • Child care costs
  • Education Expenses
  • Insurance reimbursements or casualty and theft losses
  • Records of business expenses
  • Records of prior taxes paid or estimated taxes paid

This list is by no means comprehensive but hopefully it helps as you start to mentally prepare for tax season.  Take time to review what you need and contact any financial institutions or advisors to locate your forms.  I highly recommend using an online storage tool to gather all of your tax data.  There are many systems.  We use an online storage vault in our client financial planning portal.  This makes it easy to provide your tax advisor access to your forms and also is a great way to promote a planning conversation around your taxes!