I’m sometimes annoyed as well at institutions leaving it to the last minute to send trivial forms. Especially 1099INT. I mean my end of December statement or online account info has the amount of interest I received over the year so it should not be very lengthy to calculate, find out if any taxes were withheld from it, and make it available.
That said, the IRS only started accepting returns on 1/28 and some state tax forms are not all final at that point. So having those 1099INT/DIV forms way ahead of that date does nothing but leaves more time to fill the forms in my tax software.
By now I’ve gotten all my forms, I filled the forms on both CK and TT Online (free until you file with them which I won’t) and will be e-filing over the weekend (once DH checks my numbers).
A long time ago in a different century, I used to do my taxes manually too (not even using fillable forms!). But considering the minimal cost ($0-10 in each of the previous last 15 years) to do my taxes with software vs. manually, it’s hard to justify the extra time to do them manually now. The first 3 years I remember doing them both manually and through software. 2 of the years, I ended up with the same numbers, the 3rd year, I had actually missed a deduction in my manual filing. I never looked back after that. But I don’t fully trust any ONE piece of software so each year I do my tax preparation via two different ones. Only if I find discrepancies between them, then do I dig into the actual forms to find out why.