4 tax forms retirees need to gather and examine closely before filing this year

Before you file your taxes, you first need to gather all the information you need to to prepare your return.

What sort of information? Well, it’s mostly a bunch of forms that your bank, brokerage firm, mutual fund firm, retirement plan, insurer and the like send you, typically, in January and February each year. Here’s what you need to know about some of the more important forms:

Form 1099-R

Did you get a distribution of $10 or more from your retirement, pension or annuity accounts in 2021? If so, the custodian or provider will issue you something called a Form 1099-R, according to Philip Herzberg, a lead financial advisor with Team Hewins, a wealth management firm with offices in Northern California and South Florida.

Among other things, that form includes the type of distribution you received, the taxable amount of the distribution, and how much you’ve already paid in taxes on the distribution. Of note, you don’t have to pay taxes on rollovers and loans.

Qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) from a non-inherited IRA to a qualified charity will also be included on Form 1099-R as a normal taxable distribution. But even though QCDs are reported on your tax return, they will be excluded from your taxable income, notes Herzberg. “Be sure you notify your qualified tax preparer of the details of any QCDs from your account,” he says.

Read 2022 Instructions for Forms 1099-R and 5498 to learn more about Form 1099-R.

Form 5498

You should expect to receive Form 5498, which is an informational return sent by your IRA account custodian to the IRS, only if you made contributions or rolled funds into a traditional, Roth, SEP, or SIMPLE IRA in the preceding tax year, says Herzberg. “Although Form 5498 contains important information that you should review carefully for accuracy, you do not need to file the form with your taxes or do anything with it,” he adds.

Of note, this form can’t be generated until after April 18, since you have until the upcoming April 18 tax filing deadline to finalize new contributions to your traditional or Roth IRA, according to Herzberg. “Similarly, if you did a Roth conversion in 2021 and moved funds from your traditional to your Roth IRA, you will be receiving a separate Form 5498 after April 18 reporting this transaction,” he says.

Note too that Form 5498 reports total contributions to your SIMPLE IRA account, whether funded with employee or employer contributions, says Herzberg.

Form 1099

Form 1099 reports income, dividends, and gains and losses into many separate categories. You can expect to receive your initial Form 1099 around mid-February, but you might also receive a late or a corrected 1099 after that when companies and funds reclassify income.

“It is not convenient but often unavoidable,” says Herzberg. “As companies close their books after 2021 year-end, income and gains can get shifted from one category or quarter to another, altering your Form 1099 totals.”

If you own securities that tend to generate corrected 1099s, Herzberg recommends seeking the guidance of your qualified tax professional about whether you should hold off on your final return until closer to the filing deadline.

Form W-4: Employee’s Withholding Certificate

No custodian is going to send you Form W-4. But the beginning of the year, especially when filing your taxes, is a pivotal opportunity to review your current year’s federal income tax withholdings, according to Herzberg. “Workers can adjust how much employers withhold from each paycheck for federal and state taxes by completing an updated Form W-4,” he says.

Some of the common reasons to adjust tax withholding may include family changes, such as marriage, divorce, or having children, says Herzberg. “Starting a side business or second job may lead to higher tax levies. You may consider increasing the withholding at your primary workplace to cover the projected difference in taxes.”

Similarly, retirees receiving income from Social Security, pension, or retirement accounts may need to think about increasing withholding amounts or quarterly estimated payments to avert an unexpected tax bill, he says.

Visit Form W-4 (PDF) for the current version of the form.

Robert Powell, CFP, is the editor of The Street’s Retirement Daily and contributes regularly to USA TODAY. Have questions about money? Email Bob at rpowell@allthingsretirement.com

The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Retired? Make sure you have these 4 forms before you file your taxes.