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Common Missing Tax Return Items



Want your tax return filed quickly and without error? Then double-check this list of items that are often overlooked. These missing items often cause delays in getting your tax return filed:


  • Forms W-2 and 1099. Using last year's tax return as a checklist, make sure all your W-2s and 1099s are received and applied to your tax return. Missing items will be caught by the IRS mismatch program. All these forms are required to be in the mail to you on or before Jan. 31. If you are missing a form, contact the company responsible for issuing them.


  • Dependent information. If you added a new dependent in 2023, provide the name, Social Security number and birth date to have them added to your tax return. If you have a dependent that shares custody with someone else, discuss the plan for who is going to claim them. Your tax return cannot be filed if there is conflict in this area.


  • Cost basis information. If you sold any assets (typically investments or real estate), you need to know the cost basis amount to calculate your taxable capital gain. Check your investment statements to ensure that your broker includes the required information. Sometimes it's difficult to find this information on the Form 1099-B summary, but it might be listed later in the statement details.


  • Schedule K-1s. As an owner of a partnership or S-corporation, you will need to receive a Form K-1 that reports your share of the profit or loss from the business activity. When you receive your K-1, pay special attention to box 17 (code V) for S corporations and box 20 (code Z) for partnerships. This is where information is included for the Qualified Business Income Deduction.


  • Digital asset transactions. If you are buying or selling cryptocurrency or other digital assets, you will need to provide details to support the cost basis and sales price of each transaction.


  • Forms or documents with no explanation. If you receive a tax form, but have no explanation for the form, questions will arise. For instance, if you receive a retirement account distribution form, it may be deemed income. If it is part of a qualified rollover, no tax is due. An explanation is required to file your information correctly.


  • Missing signatures. Both you and your spouse need to review and sign the e-file approval forms before the tax return can be filed. The sooner you review and approve your tax return, the sooner it can be filed.


By knowing these commonly missed pieces of information, hopefully your tax filing experience will be a smooth one.

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