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Is asking for 1099's or w2 forms allowed in discovery?

Santa Clarita, CA |

My understanding is that tax information is off limits but can an employer be asked to prove their payments via 1099s or w2 form (or something else)?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Are you currently in litigation? Under what circumstances would you like to request that an employed be asked to "prove their payments"?

    In litigation, tax information is not necessarily "off limits." If the tax forms you are requesting (Forms 1099s, Forms W-2, for example) would tend to make a fact in dispute more of less probable than the fact would be without the forms and the fact is "of consequence" in determining the action, the forms are relevant, and generally admissible. If the employer is the opposing party in litigation, the Forms may not be hearsay (see Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)).

    This response is for general informational purposes only. It does not create or imply an attorney-client relationship between the reader or any other person and Lapekas Law, P.A.. This response may not be relied upon to avoid civil penalties that may be imposed by the IRS regarding any matter discussed herein.


  2. The information and supporting documents you are entitled to will depend, to a very large extent, on the reason for needing it. You can always ask but an objection might be interposed.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference


  3. In State (California) court litigation the discovery of tax returns is generally prohibited. Two obvious exceptions: family law court and tax refund litigation. In Federal court litigation tax returns are generally discoverable by the parties to the lawsuit.

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