Ooooh, it is that most wonderful time of year. The time of year with all kinds of envelopes and email subject lines that say "IMPORTANT TAX DOCUMENT". A small pit forms in your stomach as you open them, like you have done something wrong. You open them, print them off, and stack them in a small pile telling yourself, I will deal with these later.
But what even are all of these IMPORTANT TAX DOCUMENTS, anyway? Why do they have the power to make you feel small? Why do they infuse a sense of anxiety?
It is safe to say that the majority of us don't think about these forms but once a year. And even then, it is just to collect them all and hand them off to a tax professional. But, what happens when the tax professional asks a follow up question? I see last year you had a 1099-DIV from somewhere, will you have that again for this year?
Below are a couple of links that will act like a crib sheet, of sorts, for parsing in tax document nomenclature-