Sunday, February 15, 2004

Changes delaying IRS forms for many

By John Eckberg
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Want to do your taxes but you're still waiting for your financial institution to send you an Internal Revenue Service 1099 form?

Local tax experts Crystal Faulkner and Tom Cooney answer your questions in a live internet chat today from 11:30 to noon.
If you haven't received a 1099 form, which details income such as interest, dividends and capital gains, it could mean that your financial institution has applied for a deadline extension to March 3.

At issue for many institutions is a new cut-off date for capital gains, said Crystal Faulkner, CPA and partner at Cooney, Faulkner & Stevens, certified public accountants and business consultants based downtown. Sweeping tax law changes from 2003 set two tax rates on long-term capital gains.

Long-term capital gains from holdings before May 5, 2003 could be taxed at a maximum rate of 20 percent, while long-term capital gains from investments after May 5, 2003, could be taxed at the lower rate of a maximum of 15 percent. The lower rate will bring an estimated tax break of about $350 billion.

"What's happening is a lot of mutual funds and brokerage houses are having to sort this out," Faulkner said.

Faulkner also warns that filers should double-check information received from the institution, paying particular attention to Social Security number, address and the amount to be reported as income.

"If you don't check to make sure it's right, you'll get a notice in the mail from the IRS that the information doesn't match up," she said. "And if you haven't received the information or a notification that your 1099 is going to be late, contact the financial institution."


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