Learn brokerage account tax-filing rules, including when consolidated 1099s are due and the deadline for the 2020 tax year.
Tax filing—fact or myth? Your brokerage account’s 1099 form for 2020 must be in the mail by January 31, 2021.
Say what? That’s right, a consolidated 1099 form should be postmarked by February 16, 2021, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Actually, that’s been the case for a while now—the 1099 mailing deadline changed starting with the 2008 tax year.
Previously, firms were required to have these forms validated and postmarked by January 31. But that’s no longer true. With the complexity involved in producing consolidated 1099s, the extended deadline gives brokerage firms more time to validate and avoid corrections—something that’s required when funds reallocate their distributions or when securities are purchased in January during an open wash sale window (oh, those pesky wash sale rules).
At TD Ameritrade, we use a phased approach to get forms out quickly while minimizing the number of corrections. If your portfolio includes certain types of securities such as mutual funds and real estate investment trusts (REITs), which may reallocate or reclassify their distributions in January and February, your form may be issued in a later phase to attempt to avoid corrections.
Note: The deadline extension applies only to consolidated 1099s that include a 1099-B, a form that summarizes the proceeds (gains and losses) of stock transactions. Standalone 1099s are still held to the old 1099 deadline of January 31.
Your consolidated 1099 will contain all reportable income and transactions for the year. Depending on your account activity, yours may include any or all of the following:
TD Ameritrade clients can sign up for alerts via text and push notification when their tax documents are ready to view. If you’re not going to be receiving a 1099 document, there’s an alert for that as well.
Want to sign up? Log in to your account, and under the Client Services tab, select My Profile > Communication Preferences. Under Document delivery preferences, scroll down to Tax alerts, and select the appropriate mobile number. Want to add or change a phone number? Go to My Profile > Personal Information > Edit.
Want to receive your tax document info as push notifications? If you have the TD Ameritrade Mobile app, and you have push notifications turned on, you’ll receive these alerts automatically.
Can there be a benefit to waiting another two weeks? Absolutely—a lot can happen in two weeks. For example:
But don’t assume that if you get one corrected form, you’re in the clear. More corrections could come. Firms are required to produce corrected forms in a timely manner, so if the funds in which you invest reallocate in September (and yes, while it’s rare, it does happen), you’ll receive a corrected tax form.
Every effort is made to send tax forms out earlier for accounts that have little chance of a correction. For instance, perhaps an investor didn’t have any trades in December that would be impacted by trading activity the following January, or the securities don’t typically reallocate distributions. Still, there’s no guarantee a corrected form won’t be issued.
Suppose it’s February 4 and your broker indicates your tax form will be mailed out by the 16th. Rest assured, this is within the IRS 1099 deadline; the firm didn’t get an extension just to make you wait. After all, brokerages don’t like issuing corrections any more than you like receiving them.
Once you’re logged in to tdameritrade.com, go to My Account > Tax Center. Check out the Tax Document Calendar for 1099 due dates and other information on forms TD Ameritrade generates.
You can also Ask Ted®. You’ll find him under the Support button along the top navigation bar. If he doesn’t know the answer to your tax question, head to the Contact Us page under the Client Services tab to see all available choices.
TD Ameritrade does not provide tax advice. We suggest you consult with a tax-planning professional with regard to your personal circumstances.
The key to filing taxes is being prepared. TD Ameritrade provides information and resources to help you navigate tax season.
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