Don't Ignore Late Tax Forms
Dolores Kong

If you've received a tax form for your investment
dividends weeks or even months after the usual Jan.
31 date, DO NOT ignore it. It may very well be a
corrected 1099-DIV as a result of the new dividend
tax cut that's complicating the usual reporting by
mutual fund families and other investment firms. If
you haven't filed your taxes yet, incorporate the
corrected information into your 2003 return. But if
you've already filed, you may very well need to
amend your return to reflect the corrected
information. The amendment may or may not affect
your bottom line very much, but chances are, if you
don't correct the return yourself, the IRS or the
state will eventually catch the discrepancy. If the
change means you owe a lot more in taxes, you may be
able to avoid penalty and interest if you amend it
yourself by the usual April 15 filing deadline.