When tax season comes around every April, there is no one standard tax form that the Internal Revenue Service offers for businesses and individuals. Instead, the IRS has many different types of tax forms that are required to be filed, depending on what type of entity you are. Certain forms such as the RRB-1099 and RRB-1099-R aren't common but are still important for those receiving taxable funds from railroad retirement benefits.
The RRB-1099 relates to railroad retirement benefits, which is what the "RRB" stands for. This IRS form is for the social security portion of any railroad retirement benefits received, and taxes this segment of your railroad benefits as though they were social security benefits. According to TurboTax, a portion of railroad retirement benefits are "equal to the Social Security benefits that a railroad employee or beneficiary would have been entitled to receive if that person had been covered under the Social Security system rather than the railroad retirement system."
The RRB-1099-R is similar to the RRB-1099, except the RRB-1099-R deals with the pension portion of railroad retirement benefits, according to TurboTax. Form RRB-1099-R, which reports the "total payments, repayments and related federal income tax withheld from the non-social security equivalent benefit" section of received railroad benefits, can be used by both U.S. citizens and "nonresident alien beneficiaries," states the United States Railroad Retirement Board.
The main difference between RRB-1099 and RRB-1099-R is what portions of taxable income they pertain to. According to the IRS, the Railroad Retirement Act breaks payments into two categories: social security and pension. These two categories require two separate IRS forms. One form, RRB-1099, deals with the taxable social security portion of your railroad benefits, while the other form, RRB-1099-R, deals with the taxable pension portion of your benefits.
To obtain RRB-1099 or RRB-1099-R forms, call 1-877-772-5772 to find out which Railroad Retirement Benefits office is near you. Either visit the office or request that office personnel send you a copy of the forms you need. If you live outside of the United States, the IRS recommends contacting a U.S. Embassy near you for more information. For help with filling out forms, visit the Railroad Retirement Board's website.