Help topics Help for individuals Help with taxes 1099 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

1099 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

1099 frequently asked questions and answers

If you received a 1099 tax form, or think you might be getting one, you may wonder what it says, why you got it, and what you should do with it. Here’s some help.

What is a 1099 tax form?

The 1099 is required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). There are different versions, but all are used to report non-salary income such as distributions from a retirement account.

Are there different types of 1099 forms?

Yes; here are some of the most common ones.

  • 1099R: Reports taxable withdrawals greater than $10 from a retirement plan, IRA, profit sharing, insurance contract, annuity, or pension, or account rollover.
  • 1099INT: Reports interest you received from something like a bank or brokerage firm.
  • 1099MISC: Received if you’re an independent contractor or self-employed and got $600 or more this year from a business.
I received a 1099R. How come? 

1099Rs are generated if:

  • you received a distribution of more than $10—cash, direct rollover, or unpaid loan balance or stock certificate from a benefit event like changing jobs—from a retirement plan, IRA, profit sharing, insurance contract, annuity, or pension, or account rollover.
  • you received a distribution (cash or unpaid loan balance or loan interest) from a life insurance policy or annuity in the last tax year. 
I didn’t get a 1099R but I did get a Form 5498. How come?

Form 5498 is sent to anyone who makes a contribution to an IRA.

Does every taxpayer get a 1099R?

No; you’ll only receive one if you got more than $10 from one of your accounts.

When will I receive my form 1099R?

If you’ve signed up for paper delivery, it will be mailed by January 31 of the year following your distribution. If you’ve signed up for e-delivery of your tax forms, you can download it at any time.

I haven’t gotten my 1099R. What do I do?

If you haven’t received it by mid-February, we can help. Call us at +1-800-986-3343, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. We’ll make sure your address is correct, and can send you another copy. (We are unable to fax a copy.)

If you’ve signed up for e-delivery, you can download a copy of your 1099R at any time.

Can I get my tax documents from Principal electronically?

Yes. Here’s how:

  1. Do you have a Principal.com account? Great, you can log in and it takes just a couple of steps. First, click on “My profile” on the top right. Select “Manage delivery preferences,” and check the box for “Tax documents.” Click the “View terms (PDF)” button, select email notification, and select the email to send notifications. Your e-documents should be available the next day.
  2. Are you a Principal Funds account holder? Log in to Principal.com and select your Principal Funds account. Under "Statements & History," select "Statements & Tax Forms." Click the "Tax Forms" tab.
  3. Don’t have a Principal.com account yet? No problem. To get started, view principal.com/login.

As you set up or update your account, we recommend using an email that you’ll have forever—not one associated with a work account.

How do I access my tax documents online?

Log into principal.com and select “My profile.” Under “My documents” you will find a section called “Tax documents.” That’s where you’ll find documents like your 1099R.

If you are a Principal Funds account holder:

  1. Log into principal.com and select your Principal Funds account
  2. From Statements & History, select Statements & Tax Forms.
  3. Click the Tax Forms tab.
How do I know what type of distribution I received?

Look for box 7 on the front of your 1099R and check the code. Then, look on the back of the form. Here are some of the common distribution codes:

  • G: A direct rollover from one retirement plan to another, which isn’t taxable.
  • 1: An early distribution penalty tax if you took a distribution from your retirement account, insurance policy, or annuity.
  • 7: A distribution from your retirement plan, life insurance policy, or annuity.

The IRS has more information at IRS.gov.

What do I do with a 1099R?

If you file taxes, you may need to report the information on your 1099R on your tax return. If you have a tax advisor, you can share it with them. If you do your tax return yourself, you’ll report it. (For example, on a 1041, it’s listed on Line 8: Other Income.)

I rolled over an account and didn’t take a distribution; do I still need to file the 1099R with my taxes?

Yes, if you had income taxes withheld from the distribution that are reported on your 1099R.

Why doesn’t my distribution match the taxable amount listed on the 1099R?

You may have had an outstanding loan balance from a retirement account when you left an employer or from a surrendered life insurance policy. (Check box 7 for an L, L1, or L2.) In that case, the IRS requires you pay taxes on it. Your tax advisor can explain more.

What should I do if I don't remember receiving a distribution check or ACH (Automated Clearing House) transfer?

Did you have an outstanding loan balance from a retirement account when you left an employer or from a surrendered life insurance policy? That’s a taxable event.

Reach out

Do you need more help?

Retirement plans and IRAs: +1-800-986-3343
7:00 AM to 7:00 PM CT
Monday – Friday

For life insurance: +1-800-247-9988
7:00 AM to 6:00 PM CT
Monday – Friday