How to Apply My Form 1099R on My Tax Return

A 1099R can make filing your taxes more complicated.

Form 1040 Tax Forms image by Viola Joyner from

Form 1099R is a tax information form you'll receive if you've taken a distribution from a retirement plan. The IRS requires the custodian of the plan issuing you the distribution to forward a copy of the 1099R to both you and the IRS. Most distributions from IRAs, 401(k) plans and other retirement plans are taxable. However, even if you take a tax-free distribution, such as a qualifying distribution from a Roth IRA, you'll have to report the withdrawal on your taxes. Form 1099R comes with instructions on the back. You can visit the IRS website for further information.

Step 1

Gather all of your 1099R forms. If you take distributions from multiple retirement plans, you'll get a 1099R for each plan. You must combine the information from all of your 1099Rs when you file your taxes.

Step 2

Transfer the amount in box 1 of your 1099R to your Form 1040 or 1040A on the line for "IRA distributions" or "pensions and annuities," as appropriate. On Form 1040, IRA distributions go on line 15a, and pension and annuities go on line 16a. For Form 1040A, use lines 11a and 12a, respectively.

Step 3

Report the amounts in box 2a on your Form 1040 or 1040A. If the issuer knows the taxable amount of your distribution, it will appear in box 2a. For IRA distributions, transfer the taxable amount to line 15b of Form 1040, or line 11b of Form 1040A. For pensions and annuities, the taxable amount goes on line 16b of Form 1040 and 12b of Form 1040A.

Step 4

Calculate and transfer the taxable amount if box 2b is checked. Box 2b, "taxable amount not determined," is used by issuers who do not know the tax status of the distribution. In the case of IRA distributions, the entire amount is usually taxable. IRS Publication 590 outlines situations where your distribution might not be taxable, including most Roth IRA withdrawals, a rollover to another retirement plan or the payout of non-deductible IRA contributions. For annuity payouts, refer to the worksheet in IRS Publication 939 to compute your taxable amount.

Step 5

Research the code in box 7. The circumstances surrounding your withdrawal will be recorded in box 7. In some cases, you might owe additional taxes. For example, if you took money out of your IRA before age 59 1/2, code 1 will appear in box 7 of your 1099R and you'll owe a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty.

Step 6

Complete Form 5329, if necessary. If your 1099R shows that you owe additional taxes for an early distribution, you'll have to complete Form 5329 and report these additional taxes on your Form 1040 or 1040A.

Step 7

Transfer the amount of taxes you paid to your Form 1040 or 1040A. If you had taxes withheld from your retirement plan distribution, they will show in box 4 of your 1099R. Record these amounts on line 36 of Form 1040A or line 62 of Form 1040.

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About the Author

John Csiszar earned a Certified Financial Planner designation and served for 18 years as an investment counselor before becoming a writing and editing contractor for various private clients. In addition to writing thousands of articles for various online publications, he has published five educational books for young adults.

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