How closely do you look at the matching documents that you receive in January and February and compare them to the actual information?
For example, do you go through an analysis of your mortgage interest – Form 1098 – and compare it to the amount that you paid each month? Or do you just take the word of the issuer? Most rely on the issuer, particularly if there was no refinancing that was done on your mortgage during the year.
Do you go through the 1099-G – Actual name is Statement for Recipients of Certain Government Payments – and verify that the year in Box 3 and the amount in box 2 agree with what you received in 2016? Again, most people know they received a refund in 2016, and so don’t usually analyze and try to determine any potential differences. (In our firm, however, we do compare what was filed on your prior year return to these forms – another reason to use a tax professional.)
But guess what? Arizona issued Form 1099-G at the end of January that repeated the information from 2015. The estimates are around 580,000 individuals or households that have received incorrect forms. Again, that is 580,000. A big number. Again – this is 2015 – not 2016.
So – what do you do? Well, Arizona claims that they are going to issue corrected forms. I know that I have received an incorrect one. I have not yet received a corrected one. [Editor’s Note: Arizona Department of Revenue alerted announcement subscribers that corrected 1099-G forms will be mailed on Monday, February 6. The word CORRECTED will be located in the upper right hand side in red.]
So – what to do? Bring both forms to your tax preparer and they can figure it out. If you are self-preparing, start with doing that double check of what you received and what the form says! Yes, you are going to need to look at your records, but you are already doing that – right?
Donna H. Laubscher, CPA