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Ask Phil: Tax Forms

Today, Optima Tax Relief’s Lead Tax Attorney, Phil Hwang, discusses the most common tax forms every taxpayer should know about. 

Tax Form 1040 or 1040-X 

The well-known U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040 is what you will use to report both your income and deductions to determine your tax liability every tax year. Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, allows taxpayers to correct a previously submitted 1040, make specific elections after the tax deadline, or change an amount adjusted by the IRS.  

Tax Form W-2 

If you’ve ever earned money from an employer, you have probably received a W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. This critical document for wage earners includes your income earned in the previous year, as well as taxes withheld, and helps you file your federal and state tax returns. It may also include any benefits you received through your employer. If you changed jobs mid-year, worked more than one job as an employee, or if your employer was acquired by another company mid-year, you may receive multiple W-2s.  

Tax Form 1099-NEC 

A 1099-NEC will report your income earned as a freelancer or independent contractor. Businesses will distribute this form if they make payments to you totaling $600 or more. Non-employee income can also include fees, benefits, commissions, and other sources of income paid to you.  

Tax Form W-4 

Whenever you begin employment with a new employer, you will fill out a W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate. This form basically tells your employer how much taxes to withhold from your paycheck. Withholding too little can result in a big tax bill, while withholding too much can result in smaller than necessary paychecks. That said, it’s important to ensure that your withholding is always correct.  

Tax Form W-9 

Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, helps verify your tax information so your employer, or other paying entity, can report your earnings to the IRS. This form is for both employees and self-employed individuals.  

Remember these tax forms when it’s time to file. Don’t miss next week’s episode where Phil will discuss private collection agencies. See you next Friday! 

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