Financial literacy – Tax forms

When do we use what forms? As an individual, what do we receive, as an employer what do we prepare and as an employee, what do we expect?

By end of January, all employers in US are required to have issued their W-2s. Employees need to ensure their name and address are filed properly in the system to receive their W-2s on time.

For Individuals

1. Form 1040

Individual Tax returns. Individuals file this while filing their taxes

2. Form W-4

Employee’s withholding certificate. Individuals fill this when they join their jobs.

3. Form W-9

Request for Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) & Certification. Individuals fill this when they work as consultants or contractors (basically non-employees).

4. Form W-7

When an individual applies for an ITIN

5. 1099-MISC

To report Miscellaneous income. Generally, bank interests, dividends earned etc., will have an annual 1099-MISC issued. Individuals need to report include it during tax filing.

For Employers

Sharing the most used forms. There are many more that are applicable (consult a CPA/tax consultant).

1. Form W-2

Employers engaged in a trade or business who pay compensation need to generate this & mail it before Jan 31st of the the following year.

2. Form 941

Employer’s Quarterly Federal tax return

3. 1099-NEC

Needs to be used for non-employee compensation. Required when we employ contractors, consultants (non-employees).

Instructions are available on the link ->

4. 1099-MISC

To report Miscellaneous income paid out.

5. Form 1096

Information about Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns, including recent updates, related forms and instructions on how to file. Form 1096 is used by filers of paper Forms 1099, 1098, 5498, and W-2G to transmit copies to IRS (not used to transmit electronically).

All the above forms & instructions to fill the forms are available on the link ->

Did you Know?

All forms are available on website and can be ordered for the current & previous tax year (free of cost). They can be purchased for a fee at

Link to request copies of forms ->

If you are first time tax preparer (either as an individual or as an employer), reading the documents and instructions help. While awareness helps, you would benefit from hiring a good CPA/Tax consultant to help you file the same.

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