What If a 1099-R Is Incorrect?

The Internal Revenue Service requires retirement plan administrators, pension plan administrators and 401k plan administrators to file IRS Form 1099-R if they made qualified distributions to recipients. Taxpayers who receive incorrect 1099-R forms are required to report their errors and file amended tax returns, if necessary. Businesses and pension plan administrators that file incorrect returns must amend their forms and send them to recipients and to the IRS.

Generally, the IRS requires that plan administrators file Form 1099-R if they made distributions of at least $10 to a recipient. States, local governments, pension plans, life insurance carriers and annuity plans must report their distributions using this form if they made retirement distributions, annuity distributions to annuitants, insurance distributions, disability payments or death benefits to surviving dependents. Retirement plan administrators must file 1099-R forms with the IRS by Feb. 28 if they file paper copies, or file by April 2 if they submit electronic copies. They must send recipients the form by Jan. 31.

Obligation to Report Errors

According to the Instructions to IRS Form 1099-R, taxpayers who file their 1099-R forms, and subsequently realize that they erroneously filed their returns, must correct their errors as soon as they discover them. To correct a previously filed 1099-R form, you must file a new or corrected Form 1099-R. If you filed an electronic return, you have to file an amended return by referring to Publication 1220, Specifications for Filing.

Consequences of Incorrect Filing

Taxpayers who receive incorrectly filed 1099-R forms are required to amend their previously filed tax returns or request a new Form 1099-R from payers. To file an extension, you must file an automatic request to extend time using Form 4868. The IRS recommends that you report incorrect information on your original 1099-R forms to your payers and ask for corrected forms. Payers are required to provide their original 1099-R forms to recipients by Jan. 31. The IRS will assist taxpayers who have not received their original or amended returns by Feb. 14 by contacting payers and requesting new or amended forms. In the interim, the IRS can send payees substitute forms if they have not received their original forms or allow them to use IRS Form 4852 to file their taxes without their amended tax forms.

Amending Original Returns

Taxpayers who have already filed their tax returns based on incorrectly filed 1099-R forms can file IRS Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, within three years from the date they originally filed their tax returns or from two years of their income tax payments, whichever occurs later. Recipients of amended forms must submit their amended 1099-R forms when filing amended tax returns.

references & resources