How to report your new address to the IRS and others

There are a lot of housekeeping items that need to be taken care of at the beginning of a new year. One of them might be to update your address in multiple places if you’ve moved during the year. This is especially important when it comes to making sure people sending you tax documents know where to find you.

How to update your address with the IRS and others
How to update your address with the IRS and others | Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Reporting your new address to the IRS:

The IRS maintains an antiquated database of taxpayers and sometimes you’ll need to help them keep your address current. They will typically update your address in their system when you file a tax return with a different address than they had in their system. For individual taxpayers, this means they’ll update your address once you file your Form 1040 for the prior year. You’ll use your current address, not the address you had during the prior year. This alerts the IRS to the new address and they’ll update it in their system.

Most business tax returns have a check box to indicate that there has been an address change. Because businesses typically file many different returns with the IRS throughout the year (for example, quarterly payroll returns and excise tax returns) the IRS gets this updated address information frequently. However, individuals usually only communicate with the IRS once, when you file your Form 1040. This means, to update your address during the year, you need to proactively tell the IRS about your new address.

Individuals should use IRS form 8822 to update their address with the IRS. The form can be found on the IRS website here.

Businesses should use IRS Form 8822-B to update their address with the IRS. The form can be found on the IRS website here.

Additional information about how, when, and where to change your address can be found on the IRS Topic #157 website here.

Other Places to update your new address:

Employer

You should make sure your current employer has you new address, however, you should also update you address with any employer that you worked for during the last calendar year if you are still waiting to receive a Form W-2 from them. If you think they sent your Form W-2 to you old address, a simple call or email to the employer should be all it takes to have them resend it to your current address.

Post Office

Hopefully, you updated your address with your local post office when you moved. If you haven’t done so, you should do this right away!

Financial Institutions

Any place where you have an investment account should have your updated address so they can send your Form 1099 to the correct address. Most of these companies make the tax forms available online or by email, but it is always good to double-check with them. Even if they send it to the wrong address, you’ll be responsible for including their information on your tax return.

For most people, moving is stressful and sometimes you forget to update your address with all the businesses that might need to send you a tax document at the end of the year. This is a good time to go through your list of expected tax forms and make sure the sender has your accurate address.

Remember, you are required to report all of your income, even if you don’t receive a tax document from all the places that paid you during the year. If you have trouble getting the documents, you can request a tax transcript from the IRS so you can see all the income that was reported for you. However, this transcript is usually not complete until after May (or so) for the most recent prior year. It does take some time for the IRS to process all the forms they receive so you should probably wait until summer time to request this if you need it for your tax return.