Tax Guide

Get answers to all your questions about taxes, personal finance, insurance and more.

How to File Without Your 1099

You’re ready to start e-filing your income tax return, only to discover that you’re missing a Form 1099. Now what?

No problem: You can e-file without the physical 1099 in hand. Here’s what to do:

Just like W-2s, 1099s are supposed to be sent by the end of January each year. But if you didn't get a 1099, because of an incorrect address or some other mishap, first call whoever should have sent it. They should be able to give you the missing information over the phone. The IRS just wants the information on the 1099, not the 1099 itself. So if you get the information by phone, that works for the IRS. It's still a good idea to ask for a duplicate 1099 for your records, and make sure the sender has your correct mailing address.

The IRS will compare your reported numbers with the copy of the 1099 they got from the issuer. And don’t be concerned if the 1099 you get from one sender doesn’t look like one you get from another: the IRS doesn’t require they all look alike – all that's important is the information on them.

Deal With a Missing Form

If you haven’t gotten your 1099 by mid- to late-February, call the IRS at (800) 829-1040. They may be able to help you get the information you need to e-file.

And if your original shows up after you e-file, keep it. You’ll want to look it over to see if it matches what you were told over the phone. If there are differences, call the issuer to work them out.