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1040 Guide

Like most U.S. taxpayers, you may need to file an IRS 1040 to declare your income to the federal government or to qualify for tax credits. The IRS sets a minimum income amount and requires you to complete a 1040 form if your earnings are more than this amount. You may also need to file if you have had federal income tax withheld from your pay by your employer or if you made estimated tax payments as a self-employed individual.

Additionally, you may need to attach a 1040 Schedule 1 or another tax document if your financial situation requires it. The government created IRS Schedule 1 and other forms to simplify the 1040, but most taxpayers need them to either report additional income or lower their tax responsibility through qualified deductions.

W-2 Guide

You’ll likely receive a W-2 – Wage and Tax Statement if you are a standard employee. The employee W2 form is a record of the amount you earned from an employer and through tips or other compensation. 

Your IRS W2 also details how much you have paid in taxes through paycheck withholdings from your employer. The amount of money that your employer withholds depends on what you declare in your W-4 form, which you typically complete during your new-hire orientation. The easiest way for your employer to make a W2 statement is through the IRS’ online tools. Plus, a digital copy is often a faster and more secure delivery method.

W-9 Guide

Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, is a tax document that a payer or financial institution may have you complete so they can send you the corresponding tax documents to prepare your federal income tax return.

You may need to complete a W-9 if you are self-employed, earn or pay interest, have educational expenses, or contribute to your retirement accounts. A bank, client, or other entity can use the information you provide on the W-9 tax form to create the proper 1099 form for you. 

For instance, you may need to complete a W-9 if you have a home loan. Your lender may send you a 1098 Mortgage Interest Statement with the total amount of interest you paid, which you can use to potentially reduce your tax obligation.

1099 – MISC Guide

The 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income tax form details earnings from unconventional sources. However, the IRS recently changed the form, so you can no longer use it to report self-employment income. Instead, you may receive a 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation if a client paid you as an independent contractor. 

The 1099-MISC still covers some forms of income, such as earnings from rental properties and medical or legal services. You may also get the tax form if you won money, received royalty payments, or earned certain types of proceeds. 

When it comes time to file your taxes, you’ll need to use any 1099 forms you may have received and the matching 1040 Schedule form. For instance, you would need to fill out and attach a Schedule E if Box 2 (royalties) is more than $10.

I-9 Guide

When an employer offers you a job, you will likely need to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. This tax form is a certification of your identity and authorization to work in the United States. 

It is your new employer’s responsibility to confirm you have the legal ability to earn an income. The federal government does not permit undocumented immigrants to work in the country without permission. Employers could face fines if they knowingly hire undocumented immigrants or delay the I-9 verification process. 

Similarly, you could face legal ramifications for falsifying information or documents. The I-9 process requires you to submit certain documents, like birth certificates and passports, to verify your information. While you can select which identification to furnish, your immigration status could influence which documents you need to show.