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The Most Important Tax Documents You Might Be Missing

Stocks in this article: HRB

Proceeds from Broker and Barter Exchange (1099 B)
Just for a further muddying of the tax waters, there's another 1099 out there that sometimes goes overlooked: the 1099 B.

"Anyone who sold stocks, bonds or mutual funds will receive one of these forms. This will tell you the number of shares sold, when they sold and the amount you got for the sale," Golden says.

Keep an eye out for any 1099s that show income from investments, as these are reported to the IRS.

What to do if an employer is dragging their feet on sending you what you need?

"Documents can get lost or misplaced for many reasons -- a taxpayer may have moved, an employer may have gone out of business or gone bankrupt, or the items may have simply gotten lost in the mail. It happens, but if you do not have your documents yet, then in all likelihood, they're not coming," Steber says.

Contact your employer
Your first course of action should be to contact your employer and get a new copy immediately. Most employers are quite experienced with this by now -- but they'll be very busy this time of year, so get your request in as early as possible, Steber says.

Consider filing IRS Form 4852
If your company or employer is unreachable, consider alternatives such as IRS Form 4852 -- the Substitute W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.

Form 4852 is completed by using your final pay stub. If you use it, however, be prepared to provide an explanation for where information for your income and withholdings has come from and why your W-2 is not available, the experts warn

When all else fails, contact the IRS
If the IRS Form 4852 sounds like too much for you and your former employer is absolutely unreachable, you can contact the IRS and they'll reach out to your employer on your behalf.

"If you cannot get your employer to send a W-2 you should contact the Internal Revenue Service. The number to reach them is 1-800-829-1040," Golden says. "Make sure you have your employer's business name, address, telephone number and, if you can track it down, the FEIN number. Make sure you have all of your personal info, including your Social Security number, at the ready, and the IRS will request a W-2 on your behalf."

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