What Is Form 1099-R?

Form 1099-R: Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc. is a tax form from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for reporting distributions from annuities, profit-sharing plans, retirement plans, IRAs, insurance contracts, or pensions. It deals specifically with passive income and retirement plans.

A 1099-R form is one of the forms in the 1099 series known as information returns. These forms are used to report various types of income that a person may receive, other than salaries, such as independent contractor income, interest and dividends, government payment, and many more.

Key Takeaways

  • Form 1099-R is used to report distributions from annuities, profit-sharing plans, retirement plans, IRAs, insurance contracts, or pensions. 
  • Anyone who receives a distribution over $10 requires a 1099-R form.
  • The form is provided by the plan issuer.

Understanding Form 1099-R

According to the IRS, a payee who receives any of the following distributions of $10 or more from the accounts listed below is required to fill out a 1099-R form:

  • Profit-sharing or retirement plans
  • Any individual retirement account (IRA)
  • Annuities, pensions, insurance contracts, or survivor income benefit plans
  • Permanent and total disability payments under life insurance contracts
  • Charitable gift annuities

On the other hand, an individual who receives a 1099-R form in error should immediately contact the plan custodian to rectify the situation and avoid filing an incorrect tax return. Like most 1099s, 1099-R forms must be sent to recipients by Jan. 31 of the year following the tax year.

If you receive a 1099-R keep in mind that not all distributions from retirement or tax-deferred accounts are subject to tax. A direct rollover from a 401(k) plan to an IRA is one example. If you are unsure whether a distribution is taxable it may be a good idea to consult with a tax professional.

Anyone who receives a 1099-R must include the amount shown on it in their income tax return and pay applicable taxes.

How to File Form 1099-R

The form is provided by the plan issuer who must give a copy to the IRS, the recipient of the distribution, and the recipient’s state, city or local tax department. As with other IRS forms, the 1099-R form should also include the payer's name, address, telephone number, and taxpayer identification number (TIN). It should also have the recipient's name, address, and taxpayer identification number, which for most individual taxpayers in their Social Security number.

Some of the other items included on the form are the gross distribution paid during the tax year, the amount of taxable distribution, the federal income tax withheld at source, any contributions made to the investment, or insurance premiums paid and a code representing the type of distributions made to the plan holder.

A 1099-R form uses a variety of numbered and lettered codes to indicate the type of distribution. They are entered in Box 7 on the form. A table of the codes is included in the instructions.


All copies of Form 1099-R are available on the IRS website.