Tax Form Timing
Most tax forms (1099s) are available online by February 15
As soon as your 1099 is available online, we'll send you an email to let you know. If you opted to have your form mailed to you, you should receive it a couple weeks after February 15.
Why not January 31?
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 changed the IRS reporting deadline for brokerages to February 15. Tax forms for brokerages are complicated and can take a while to complete. Why? Brokerages must wait for companies to provide information on the securities you held in your account last year before your tax forms can be completed.
If you don't get your 1099 by February 15, it could be for one of the following reasons:
Your form is still coming
Sometimes we need to send you a tax form after the February deadline. The IRS lets us do this because one or more of the securities you hold is likely to make updates that would force us to send you a new (corrected) form. This deadline extension lets us be sure that you're getting the correct information the first time.
You're not going to receive a form
If you don't receive a form by mid-March, you probably didn't meet the minimum reporting thresholds, so you won't receive a 1099 form for your account. Check out the IRS reporting thresholds.
You have an IRA or ESA
IRAs (Individual Retirement Arrangement) and ESAs (Education Savings Accounts) have separate forms - 1099-R and 5498 for IRAs, 1099-Q & 5498-ESA for ESAs.
1099-R or 1099-Q - distribution
The 1099-R/Q is used to report any distributions taken from your account during the previous year. This form is mailed by January 31 only if you made distributions during the tax year.
5498 or 5498-ESA Form - contributions
The 5498/5498-ESA is used to report any contributions you made to this account. This form is mailed at the end of May only if you made a contribution to this account for the previous tax year. You have until the tax filing deadline (usually April 15) to make prior-year contributions, so this form isn't available until after that deadline. You don't need this form for filing your taxes.
Tax forms can change
Although rare, some companies update the tax information they provide, even into March and April. If your 1099 is affected, we'll update your tax form and email you. We don't have any control over when or if this happens, and we can't advise you whether you'll need to re-file (if you've already done so).