The Internal Revenue Service's 1099 forms are used to report payments that may be taxable income to the recipient. Since many withdrawals from individual retirement arrangements are taxable, the custodian of your IRA must issue you a 1099 after a withdrawal. Expect to receive this form in January or early February.
The IRS has more than a dozen different 1099 forms that report different kinds of income. Distributions from IRAs are reported using Form 1099-R. This form is also used to report payments from an array of other sources, including pensions, annuities, profit-sharing plans, death benefits and insurance contracts.
The custodian of your IRA is required to send you a copy of the form by Jan. 31 following the year in which you made the withdrawal. The Jan. 31 date is the "mail-by" date, so the form should show up by mid-February at the latest. The custodian must also file the form with the IRS. It has until Feb. 28 to do so, or Mar. 31 if it files its forms electronically.
IRA custodians must issue a 1099-R to anyone who receives distributions totaling $10 or more over the course of the year. So unless the IRA distribution you took was trivially small, you should be receiving a form.
If No Form Arrives
If Jan. 31 comes and you haven't yet received a 1099-R, the IRS suggests that you contact the custodian of your IRA to check on its status. If you still haven't received the form by Feb. 14, call the IRS, which will contact the custodian on your behalf. To request assistance from the IRS, call 800-829-1040. Be prepared to provide your name, address, phone number and Social Security number, as well as the name, address and phone number of the custodian.
If, for some reason, your IRA custodian never provides you a 1099-R even after prodding from the IRS, then you must file Form 4852 with your tax return. This form serves as a substitute for the 1099-R. You fill it out yourself using information from your own records about distributions you have received. When you contact the IRS for help with a missing 1099-R, the agency will send you a Form 4852 and the instructions for filling it out, just in case your 1099-R never arrives.
Cam Merritt is a writer and editor specializing in business, personal finance and home design. He has contributed to USA Today, The Des Moines Register and Better Homes and Gardens"publications. Merritt has a journalism degree from Drake University and is pursuing an MBA from the University of Iowa.