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The Most Important Tax Documents You Might Be Missing

Bank interest form (1099-INT)
"If you earned more than $10 in interest on a deposit, you will get one of these forms for each account you have," Golden says. "This document is very important if you reinvested the interest."

Tax law says you got the income even if you didn't actually have it in hand, and that reinvested earnings are still counted as taxable income, Golden explains. You will also get one of these statements in the event you cashed in a savings bond.

If you have any doubt, Holmes notes that all interest is considered taxable income if the interest you get or have credited to your account can be withdrawn without penalty.

Dividend income (1099-DIV)
Your 1099 DIV will be where earnings from individual stocks and mutual funds are reported.

"The documents show all dividends and capital gains distributed over $10. If you decided to use the dividends to buy any additional stocks or funds, you will have to pay taxes on those purchases," Golden says.

Keep in mind that dividends can be classified as ordinary or qualified, Holmes says.


"Ordinary dividends are taxable as ordinary income, while qualified dividends that meet certain requirements are taxed at lower capital gain rates," he says.

Student loan interest payments (1098-E)
The amount of interest you pay on a qualified student loan may be deductible if it meets the requirements of the Student Loan Interest Deduction, and it will be be detailed on your 1098 E if you are paying back a student loan, Holmes says.

"The interest on your educational debt is reported on this form; your lender must send you one," Golden says.

Tuition payments (1098-T)
You may be able to deduct qualified tuition and related expenses that you pay for yourself, your spouse or a dependent as part of the Tuition and Fees Deduction, Holmes says.

Just make sure you retain your expense records for anything you plan to deduct against your total income, Steber says.

Mortgage Interest Statement (1089)
"For most homeowners, mortgage interest is tax-deductible, and your 1089 will tell you how much you paid last year," Golden says.

If the mortgage interest you paid was more than $600 for the year, your mortgage holder should have sent you your 1098 around Jan. 31.

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