When you work as a freelancer (non-employee) for an individual or business, the paying client is legally required to issue a 1099-NEC for your services, as long as the monetary value for those services was $600 or higher. This must be done by January 31. There are also other types of 1099 forms you might lose such as for Social Security benefits. In the event that you lost a 1099 form, or never received it in the mail, you'll need to know how to retrieve a 1099 form in order to correctly fill out your yearly tax return.
Contact the Issuer Directly
What do I do if I lost my 1099? If the 1099 you lost is for the current tax season, you'll need to reach out to the entity who issued the 1099 and request that they provide a copy of the tax document for your records. They may give you the copy themselves or direct you to their accountant to retrieve the 1099.
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Since you don't actually have to submit a copy of your 1099 with your tax return, you really just need the information that is found on the form. If the client can't provide a copy, politely request the data that is located on the form. In addition to income, this form includes the payer's name, address and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), so make sure you get those facts as well. You can then use this information when completing your tax return.
Keeper Tax warns that freelancers should be careful not to request a new 1099-NEC, as are reported directly to the IRS. The IRS will see both 1099s in their system and think you made twice as much money than you actually did.
Consider also: Non-Employee Compensation: Definition & Compensation Reporting
Obtaining Replacement SSA-1099s
Individuals who lose their SSA-1099 showing Social Security benefits received can easily get a new copy by visiting the Social Security Administration's website and signing in to their free my Social Security Account. From there, taxpayers can download a copy of the 1099 to their computers.
Once the document is opened up on the computer, the option to print a copy of the SSA-1099 appears. Place this copy in a safe place, so you can refer to it when filling out your tax return.
Consider also: About the Different Types of 1099 Tax Forms: What You Should Know
Filing Without a 1099 Form
If you have a lost 1099 and you are unable to obtain a copy, you still need to report the income to the IRS on your tax return. If you're a freelancer with a missing 1099-NEC, you'll add up all of the receipts for your services and enter the total on Schedule C. If you have a lost 1099-R, you'll need to use IRS Form 4852: Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.
Get Transcripts for Old 1099s
You may be wondering how to obtain a 1099 form from the past. This is helpful should you wish to compare your income from year to year or should you need to prove a steady income history for a loan. Fortunately, the IRS makes getting copies of previous tax documents a breeze.
Download, print and fill out Form 4506-T to officially request a tax transcript from a previous year. Since taxpayers don't send in a copy of their 1099 with their return, you won't see the actual document, but you will see the reported income from the document.
You can request up to four different transcripts on this form, which is helpful if you are looking for multiple years. If you prefer, you can also call 800-908-9946 and follow the prompts to make the request instead.