11 Tax Documents That Might Be Waiting in Your Mailbox

Don't overlook these 11 essential tax documents quietly landing in your mailbox.

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Updated July 11, 2024
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Your taxes may not be due until April 15, but the season is in full swing.

You should be getting several tax documents in the mail. That includes forms from your employer, bank, broker, or anyone else that dealt with your finances in 2023.

From the 1099-INT to the 1099-SA, here are 10 tax documents you might get in the mail and what they are to help you avoid making mistakes filing this year.

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Form 1099-INT

Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe form 1099-int interest income

The barrier for a 1099-INT, which deals with interest, is just $10. If you had a high-yield savings account in 2023, you can expect to receive a 1099-INT.

The form details various interest types, including U.S. Savings Bonds, Treasury obligations, bank and brokerage interest, and tax-exempt interest. Report the amounts listed on your tax return. It’s Schedule B for totals over $1,500.

1099-DIV

Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe form-1099 div dividends

This one is, you might have guessed, about the money you made from dividends — and capital gains.

The bar is low. It’s anything over $10 for the year. Whether you reinvested the dividends or not, taxes are due. However, certain qualified dividends and distributions may enjoy lower capital gains rates. 

The form also distinguishes between qualified and ordinary dividends, providing details on capital gain distributions and Section 199A dividends.

Form 1099-G

Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe form 1099-g certain government payments

Form 1099-G deals with specific payments you get from the government. It includes taxable unemployment benefits, state and local tax withholdings, grants, and payments from the Department of Agriculture.

If you received a state or local tax refund and used it as a deduction on your previous federal return, report the 1099-G amount on this year's return. But if you took the standard deduction, you don't need to report it as income.

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Form 1099-MISC

Country Gate Prod./Adobe 1099 tax form

If you guessed that the “MISC” in your 1099-MISC stood for miscellaneous, you’d be right. If you picked up a side hustle in 2023, you can probably expect to receive this form.

If you’re self-employed and make $600 or more, you should get a 1099-MISC from each company you worked with. This form reports various incomes, including rent, royalties, and other payments.

Form 1098

MMPhoto21/Adobe 1098 tax form

Form 1098 ensures you know how much mortgage interest, points, and mortgage insurance premiums you paid for the year if you paid $600 or more. Track your interest independently for amounts less than $600, as your lender won't send you a form.

Form 1098-T

Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe form-1098 t tuition statement

Students, behold. Your tax form is here. Educational institutions use Form 1098-T to report transactions for enrolled students.

It matters because insurers file it for individuals receiving reimbursements or refunds for qualified tuition and related expenses. 

Form 1098-T acknowledges college tuition payments, potentially making you eligible for deductions or tax credits based on your educational expenses.

Form W-2

sergign/Adobe pen on a form w-2

Your W-2 is used to determine your annual tax payments and report your total income, so it's a critical piece of paper.

It's issued by every employer who withheld income, Medicare, and Social Security taxes. Your W-2 shows the total tax your employer deducted. It's also shared with the IRS and other authorities to help them cross-reference your reported income.

Form 1099-SA

88studio/Adobe applicant fill out application form

Form 1099-SA covers distributions from your health savings account, Archer MSA, and Medicare Advantage MSA. It shows how much you spent from those accounts for your tax return. All that info can be used when you file.

Form 1095-A

mehaniq41/Adobe irs form 1095 a health insurance

You’ll get a Form 1095-A if you bought health coverage through the marketplace. You may get it in the mail or find it online at Healthcare.gov in your account.

This form lets you claim premium tax credits and reconcile credits with advance payments.

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Form 1040

Yaroslav Pavlov/Adobe 1040 tax form

You won’t necessarily receive a Form 1040 in the mail unless you enjoy doing your taxes by hand and specifically request it. Still, it’s the primary IRS document for most American taxpayers. 

It factors in things like age, filing status, and income. In short, it shows how the IRS determines whether you owe taxes or are eligible for refunds.

It also allows for itemized deductions, credits, and expense claims. Form 1040 is your comprehensive tool for understanding and calculating income taxes.

Form 1040-SR

Tada Images/Adobe u.s. tax return for seniors

Form 1040-SR is a senior-friendly alternative to the standard Form 1040 and caters to taxpayers 65 and older. 

It’s designed for easier readability and simplicity and helps facilitate reporting of common income sources like Social Security, IRA distributions, annuities, and investments. The form uses the same schedules and instructions as Form 1040.

Bottom line

Pixel-Shot/Adobe young woman checking her mail

Filing taxes doesn't have to be scary. Take a deep breath, gather your documents, and tackle them one at a time. Remember, tax professionals are there to support you. 

By understanding your documents and seeking guidance when needed, you can approach this season with confidence and even uncover opportunities to get ahead financially

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Author Details

Will Vitka

Will Vitka is a D.C. area reporter and writer. He previously worked for WTOP, The New York Post, Stuff Magazine, and CBS News.