If you were out of work for some or all of the previous year, you aren't off the hook with the IRS. Those who received unemployment benefits for some or all of the year will need a 1099-G form. You'll also need this form if you received payments as part of a governmental paid family leave program.
But you don't have to wait for your copy of the form to arrive in the mail. In many states, you can download your 1099-G directly from the Department of Revenue.
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What Is Form 1099-G?
The IRS supplies special forms to help taxpayers stay organized with their income. It also allows the government to tax different incomes at different rates.
The Form 1099-G reports income for any individual who received unemployment, state tax refunds, reemployment trade adjustment assistance (RTAA), agricultural assistance, and/or taxable grants. The form has spaces for name and identification, unemployment income, state tax refunds, RTAA payments, and grants.
The payer will fill in your personal information and some details about them along with the amounts of payments made to you. They'll send the completed form to the IRS, your state's tax department and you. You'll use the 1099-G document to complete your tax return.
Consider Also: About the Different Types of 1099 Forms: What You Should Know
Downloading the Form
If you regularly used your state's website while you were receiving employment, you likely already have an account. If not, you will need to sign up for one. If you've logged in before, use the same account information and PIN number, if applicable, that you used previously. Depending on the state, you may be able to log in by answering identifying questions if you've forgotten your username or password.
Once in, follow the prompts your state has set up to help you access any forms that apply to you. You may be required to choose the tax year, even if you only received benefits in the most recent year. You should be able to either print or save the file, which will give you all the information you need to take to your tax preparer or input into your tax software.
Getting Help From Local Agencies
If you can't download your 1099-G online or you have technical issues with it, contact your state's Department of Revenue. Some states only issue the form by mail, so you'll have to request it and wait for it to arrive if you never received a copy. If it's convenient, consider stopping by the state unemployment office. You may be able to get a copy of your form immediately, rather than waiting for it to arrive.
The IRS does not require you to submit a paper copy of your 1099-G form with your taxes. This means if you can't print the information out, you'll simply need to note the pertinent number to plug into the unemployment compensation block, as well as any refunds or credits that apply. Your local unemployment office may be able to supply these numbers by phone if you can't access the form online.
Filing taxes is much easier when you have all the forms you need in front of you. Many states now offer online access to 1099-G forms, which is a big help when it's time to file but you never received the form.
Consider Also: Do I Have to File Income Tax on Unemployment?