Tax season Q&A: Guide to filing your 2018 tax returns

With the U.S. Tax Reform bill in place, and a year of impressive market performance, we know that our clients are eager to file their 2018 tax returns. For many years, important tax documents regarding taxable withdrawals and realized gain and loss information have been mailed directly to investors from the account custodian (Charles Schwab, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, U.S. Bancorp, etc.). This year will be no different and we have compiled the answers to some frequently asked questions to make tax preparation easier for our clients.

When can I access my 1099 and other important tax documents online?

Starting in mid-February, each custodian will make your 1099 available on your online profile. This way, you will be able to download the documents and save them for your records. In some cases, accessing these documents online is much faster than waiting for the paper copies to be delivered by the U.S. postal service.

If you need help establishing an online profile, please follow the link below for your respective account custodian:

Charles Schwab: http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/nn/pl_help/online_enrollment_help.html

Fidelity: https://www.fidelity.com/customer-service/faqs-managing-your-profile

TD Ameritrade:  https://www.tdameritrade.com/logon-help.page

When will I receive a hard copy of my 1099 in the mail?

Similar to the online accessibility, custodians will begin mailing their 1099s in early to mid-February. If you haven’t already, now is a good time to report any address changes to your advisor so that these important documents arrive to the proper destination.

Schwab has completed the first production run of the 2018 1099 Composite and Year-End Summary tax forms as of 2/21/2019. Schwab will also have a second run of 1099’s starting mid to late February too and Fidelity will be running 1099’s as late as the 2nd week of March. As of 2/8/2019, TD has completed mailings of their 2018 Consolidated 1099 xax forms.

What is a 1099-Q or 1099-R? In what situations do they apply to me?

A 1099-Q will be generated if you withdrew funds from an education savings plan or a 529 in 2018, and a 1099-R will be generated if you withdrew funds from a retirement account (i.e. IRA or IRA Rollover). If you chose to withhold taxes on these distributions (if applicable), this information will be detailed on these documents as well. These documents will be available under your online profile starting in early-mid February.

What should I do if I receive a revised 1099 later in the year?

We urge you to consult your tax preparer to discuss if you should file an amended tax return. To avoid the hassle of a second filing, we suggest waiting for as long as possible to file your taxes. Just be sure to have everything processed before the deadline of Monday, April 15th 2019!

Schwab will begin sending corrected 1099’s beginning February 27th 2019. Fidelity may not send corrected 1099’s until much later in the month’s ahead and TD’s corrected 1099 cycle has 4 phases and they are listed here:

1st Correction Cycle – February 22, 2019 (By Close of Business)

Reports reclassified income (not captured on Consolidated 1099 forms to be issued by mid-February 2019) that was reported to TD Ameritrade between February 9, 2019 and February 15, 2019.

2nd Correction Cycle – March 8, 2019 (By Close of Business)

Reports reclassified income that was reported to TD Ameritrade between February 16, 2019 and March 1, 2019.

3rd Correction Cycle – March 20, 2019 (By Close of Business)

Reports reclassified income that was reported to TD Ameritrade between March 2, 2019 and March 15, 2019.

4th Correction Cycle – April 9, 2019 (By Close of Business)

Reports reclassified income that was reported to TD Ameritrade between March 16, 2019 and April 5, 2019

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to your advisor or tax preparation specialist well before the deadline. Take care, and happy filing!

Fort Pitt does not provide tax advice. We encourage you to contact your tax professional with any questions.