The Internal Revenue Service warned that many investors and other taxpayers may receive their year-end tax statements later than in past years, but the forms are likely to be more accurate.

A new law, enacted last fall, changed the deadline from Jan. 31 to Feb. 15, when brokers, including brokerage firms, mutual fund companies and barter exchanges, must furnish year-end Forms 1099-B to their customers. Where a broker furnishes these forms by mail, this means that the forms must be mailed, not received, by that date.

Because Feb. 15 falls on Sunday in 2009, and Monday, Feb. 16, is a federal holiday, the deadline is Feb. 17 this year. In addition, the IRS said last month that for calendar-year 2008 reporting, the Feb. 17 deadline also applies to other tax information that brokers report to their customers, including such items as interest and dividends, on a combined year-end statement.

This change is designed to make it easier for brokers to provide investors with accurate year-end statements on stock sales and other transactions. Inaccurate year-end statements that have to be corrected later often force investors to file amended individual returns.

The long-standing Jan. 31 deadline for providing other year-end forms remains unchanged. However, because Jan. 31 falls on Saturday, employers, banks and other businesses have until Monday, Feb. 2, to mail or otherwise make available various 2008 year-end tax statements. This includes forms in the W-2, 1098 and 1099 series.

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