There are few things more nerve-wracking than completing your tax return and sending it off, only to discover that you omitted a vital piece of information. The Internal Revenue Service uses the income information you attach to your return to substantiate the amounts listed on your filing. In some cases, failing to send the required 1099 or W-2 could significantly delay the processing of your return. Other times, however, mailing wage forms isn’t necessary. It is imperative that you are able to determine when substantiation of income is required and when it’s unnecessary.
What a 1099-R Is
A 1099-R is the IRS form that reports a taxpayer’s distributions from IRAs, annuities, retirement plans, pensions and insurance contracts. Do not confuse this with Social Security benefits, which are reported on SSA-1099. Taxpayers who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not receive a 1099-R or a SSA-1099 because SSI payments are not taxable.
Filing Your Taxes
You are required to attach your 1099-R to your return if it shows income tax withheld. If it does not show income tax withheld, then you are not required to submit it with your return. If you file electronically, you are not required to mail in Form 1099-R.
Correcting Your Return
If you forgot to include the income or tax withheld from Form 1099-R on your return, then you are required to complete an amended return using IRS Form 1040X to make the change. There is no hard and fast way to complete a 1040X since the sections on form 1040X correspond to different categories on your income tax return. For example, taxpayers who are only making changes to their filing status must complete lines 1-22, while taxpayers who are making changes to their exemptions must complete lines 1-31. A complete list of adjustments and their corresponding line entries is found on page six of the 1040X instructions. You can print a copy of Form 1040X with accompanying instructions from the IRS website. Mail your amended return to the IRS service center that processes returns for your area. Allow eight to 12 weeks for processing.
Statute of Limitations
The IRS only allows three years from the date of your original filing to file an amended return and receive a refund. If you file after the statute expires, then you forfeit your right to a refund. If you require assistance completing your return, call the IRS at 800-829-1040.
- Internal Revenue Service: Instructions for Form 1099-R and 5498
- Internal Revenue Service; Publication 17: Your Federal Income Tax; December 2010
- Internal Revenue Service: 1040 Instructions
- IRS: Form 1099R
- IRS: Form 1040x Instructions
- IRS. "Amended Returns & Form 1040X." Accessed June 24, 2020.
- IRS. "Here Are Five Facts About the New Form 1040." Accessed June 24, 2020.
- IRS. "Tax Reform Basics for Individuals and Families." Accessed June 24, 2020.
- IRS. "IRS Audits." Accessed June 24, 2020.
Denise Caldwell is a finance writer who has been writing on taxation and finance since 2006. Her articles appear regularly on websites such as Gomestic.com and MoneyNing.com. She has taken what she learned while working at the IRS to provide readers with helpful tax and finance tips. Caldwell received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Howard University.