Where are my tax forms?
It’s a question that we get asked every year right around this time, if not earlier. I once had a client ask about his tax forms for the prior year on January 2nd! While I admire people who want to get tax filing over with as soon as possible, is not realistic to expect your 1099 forms to be delivered to you much sooner than mid to late February. If you have taxable* investments of any kind, it is likely that you should be looking for a 1099 form of some sort to include with your taxes.
Mind you, no company, advisor, or custodian is doing this to purposely delay or further complicate your tax filing. For custodians (places that hold your money/investments for you), reporting your tax information accurately means gathering information from other companies that, for most, that means mutual fund companies.
In Meridian’s case, we use Charles Schwab as our custodian for client assets. So, Schwab must wait for the various investment companies to deliver the appropriate tax information to them, and then assign it to each client’s account to include on one consolidated tax form. In many ways, we should all be relieved that this is done for us, and I would argue that it’s worth the wait to have all of our holdings’ tax information boiled down to one form.
Keep in mind that if you have signed up to “go paperless” or have documents provided to you electronically, you may need to go online to get your tax forms. If you’ve forgotten how to get online, then you can call your advisor or custodian as they will likely have a copy that can be delivered to you in the manner you choose. It’s never a bad idea to contact your advisor just to be sure you’ve received everything you need. For some of our clients, an even better scenario is when both CPA and investment advisor have a direct line to each other. This can usually be accomplished via an introductory phone call, meeting, or letter that gives each party permission to share your tax and investment information with each other.
*For retirement accounts such as IRAs and 401(k)s, there will be no tax forms needed unless you have made a withdrawal during the tax year