Personal Finance

The One Form That IRA Holders Should Scrutinize

Natalie Choate

Every year, your IRA provider reports on your IRA to the IRS. Providers do this with two tiny but powerful tax forms, IRS Forms 1099-R and 5498. A mistake on one of these forms could cost you money or lead to a needless IRS audit.

There are tens of millions of IRA accounts in the U.S., so there are going to be some reporting mistakes. Head off problems by eyeballing those forms carefully when you receive them, and if you find mistakes, getting them corrected. Moreover, know what every number and code on those forms means, so you can be sure your tax preparer correctly transfers the info onto your tax return.