Tips for Tax Procrastinators: Get copies of the documents you've lost


You've lost your tax documents. Now what? Call the companies that issued them and have them send you copies. It's really not that hard, and while it's a bit of an inconvenience for the company, they're usually able to do it quickly. But the sooner you call, the sooner you'll get the copies.

This goes for your W-2s, your 1099s for interest, dividends, pension income, or subcontractor income. You can also call your mortgage company to get a copy of your 1098 for mortgage interest, and contact your local government about the property taxes you paid.

Obviously, losing these items makes preparing your taxes a bit more difficult, but they're not impossible to replace. Remember that the burden of proving your income and deductions rest on you, the taxpayer. If the IRS ever questions or audits your tax return, you must prove the numbers to them. That's why it's important to hang onto copies of all your documentation.

Read more Tips for Tax Procrastinators

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

Originally published
Your resource on tax filing
Tax season is here! Check out the Tax Center on AOL Finance for all the tips and tools you need to maximize your return.
Can You Claim Gambling Losses on Your Taxes?
Gambling losses are indeed tax deductible, but only to the extent of your winnings. Find out more about reporting gambling losses on your tax return.
Read MoreBrought to you
The Ins and Outs of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
If you are paying someone to take care of your children or another person in your household while you work, you might be eligible for the child and dependent care credit. This credit "gives back" a portion of the money you spend on care, and can reduce your tax bill by hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Read MoreBrought to you
Why is My Tax Refund Not What I Expected?
There are a few reasons why the amount of your IRS refund may be different than what you’re expecting.
Read MoreBrought to you
Federal Tax Credit for Residential Solar Energy
The Residential Clean Energy Credit for solar energy upgrades to your home has been extended through 2034 and expanded in value.
Read MoreBrought to you