Help with tax questions

What you need to know about tax forms

The 1099 form is a series of forms described by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as “information returns”, used to report income other than a regular salary. There are various versions of the information returns, each denoted by a different letter or number, to report various types of non-salary income you may receive throughout the year.  Some common versions are the Forms 1099-R, 1099-MISC, 1099-INT, and 5498.

Some of the common types of 1099 forms are the Forms 1099-R, 1099-MISC, 1099-INT, and 5498.

  • The Form 1099-R is generally used to report designated distributions from pensions, annuities, retirement plans, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRA)s, and insurance contracts.
  • The Form 1099-INT is used to report any interest income.
  • The Form 1099-MISC typically serves to report compensation income paid to independent contractors or to report other types of taxable income not reportable on another information return.
  • The Form 5498 is used to report various information about IRAs.

The document you received is a tax record copy of a form a Principal Financial Group affiliated entity submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

We submitted this form because you either:

  1. Received a distribution from a Principal-administered retirement plan or account (either an individual or employer-sponsored plan) in the last tax year. You may have received this distribution as cash, a direct rollover, or an unpaid loan balance or stock certificate as a result of a benefit event (such as changing jobs, retiring, etc.). 
  2. Received a distribution from a Principal-administered life insurance policy or annuity in the last tax year. You may have received this distribution as cash or an unpaid loan balance or loan interest. 

You can refer to the back of the Form 1099-R to verify which type of distribution you received. You’ll also find the commonly used distribution codes in Box 7.

Here’s what some of the common distribution codes mean:

  • G – Indicates the distribution was a direct rollover from one retirement plan to another. The IRS does not consider this a taxable event.
  • 1 – Indicates an early distribution penalty tax may apply to a distribution you took from your retirement account, insurance policy or annuity.
  • 6 – Indicates a Section 1035 tax-free exchange 
  • 7 – Indicates a distribution was taken from your retirement plan, life insurance policy or annuity.

More information on your Form 1099-R can be found in the Instructions to the Forms 1099-R and 5498 the IRS publishes each year.

A Form 1099-R is required to be sent to you by January 31 of the year following your distribution. You should receive your Form 1099-R by mid-February. Please let us know if you do not receive the form by then. If you have recently moved or changed addresses, we can request a duplicate Form 1099-R for you after January 31, if necessary.

Yes, you can. Log into and select My Profile. You'll see there's a section called Tax Documents under My Documents. That's where you'll find documents like your 1099 form.

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Generally, yes, if you had income taxes withheld from the distribution reported on the Form 1099. The information provided on the Form 1099 is used in preparing your tax return. You may want to consult with your tax advisor.

If you do not remember receiving a check or ACH from Principal you may have received a check or ACH payment from a current or former employer’s retirement plan, with administrative services provided by Principal Life Insurance Company.

  • Please review your personal records for a check stub or copies of any correspondence. You may have received a benefit other than cash: for example, an outstanding loan balance would become a taxable distribution if you didn’t repay the loan when you left your job or surrendered your life insurance policy.
  • This distribution is being reported as taxable for the tax year listed on the tax record. If you received more than one tax record, the total from all records in the taxable amount section is your total benefit for that tax year.

If you file taxes, you may need to report the information provided on your Form 1099-R on your tax return. Please consult with your individual tax advisor to see if you need to file a tax return. Principal cannot provide tax advice or help to complete tax forms. If you do not file taxes, please keep the tax record with your important records.

If you did not take a cash distribution, the Form 1099-R is generally distributed for your records only, and you generally do not need to file it. You may, however, want to consult your tax advisor for further information.

If you had an outstanding loan balance at the time you left the organization that sponsored the retirement plans, or if you had an outstanding policy loan balance at the time you surrendered a life insurance policy and did not pay it back, this amount is included as part of the total taxable amount indicated on the Form 1099-R.

No problem. Just call us!

  • For retirement plans and IRAs: 800-986-3343 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CT), Monday – Friday
  • For life insurance: 800-247-9988 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (CT), Monday – Friday.
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Have more questions about your tax forms from us?

You can always call us!

  • For retirement plans: 800-547-7754
  • For life insurance: 800-247-9988

The subject matter in this communication is educational only and provided with the understanding that Principal® is not rendering legal, accounting, or tax advice. You should consult with appropriate counsel or other advisors on all matters pertaining to legal, tax, or accounting obligations and requirements.

Insurance products and plan administrative services provided through Principal Life Insurance Co. Securities offered through Principal Securities, Inc., 800.547.7754, member SIPC. Principal Life and Principal Securities are members of Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, IA 50392.