It’s 1099-Reporting Time Again…

January 31st is the deadline to furnish Form 1099- Misc. to recipients.

The 1099-MISC form is used to report more than two dozen types of payments that must be claimed as income by the recipient. This category includes payments made by businesses as fees to attorneys, service providers and freelancers. Other types of payments covered by the 1099-MISC include reimbursement for auto expenses, awards and bonuses, commissions, prizes and vacation allowances for non-employees.

A payer of rents and royalties must also file this tax document
1099’s are issued to individuals, partnerships, single member LLC’s: Corporations are generally not issued 1099-Misc unless the payments are for attorney fess.  The IRS can charge significant penalties for failure to file accurate 1099’s.  1099 reporting is a “hot issue” for the IRS in an attempt to close the tax gap.

The most common 1099’s that need to be completed by business owners are for the payment of rent and nonemployee compensation.  Enter in Box 1 amounts of $600 or more for all types of rents paid. Enter in box 7 nonemployee compensation of $600 or more. Include fees, commissions, prizes and awards for services performed for your business by an individual who is not an employee but an independent contractor.

An Independent Contractor is an individual, a business owner or a company that you contracted with to do a specific project or consulting. The contractor provided a specialized type of expertise to you either intermittently or maybe just once during the year. This was a person who required no training from you, was not under your control and may have used their own equipment.

You didn't issue them a regular paycheck, withhold or pay any taxes, or provide any benefits.

A few examples of some likely independent contractors:

  • Attorneys
  • Accountants
  • Bookkeeping Services
  • Graphic Designers
  • Architects
  • Computer Maintenance and Repair Services
  • Contractors
  • Cleaning Services
  • Consultants of various types: marketing, human resource, management, etc.

The IRS and your State Department of Labor have very specific rules regarding Independent Contractors vs. Employees. If you incorrectly classify an employee as an independent contractor, you can be held liable for employment taxes for that worker, plus penalties and interest.

To accurately complete the 1099, you will need the recipient name, address and tax identification number or social security number. All independent contractors should be given form W-9(Request for Taxpayer Identification and Certification) to complete prior to engaging their services and payment.  Having this form filled out up front will eliminate any year end tracking down of subcontractors.

All 1099’s need to be mailed to the IRS with Form 1096 by February 28th.   The 1096 is the necessary "cover sheet" summary you have to send to the IRS along with the 1099 copies. Reporting by state can vary, so check your state requirements.  Connecticut requires Form CT-1096 be filed with the state copy of the 1099’s attached.

Action Plan:  File all required 1099’s by the due date.

Tom Scanlon has over thirty years experience in public accounting with an extensive background in the areas of financial, tax, and estate planning. He prides himself on providing in-depth and customized solutions to privately held businesses and their owners. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner®. Tom is a frequent speaker for area organizations and has  recently been quoted on CNBC, Fox 61 News and AARP's blog. Tom also has been a guest columnist for numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, Money Magazine, The Hartford Courant, The Hartford Business Journal, and The New Haven Register. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Financial Planning Association. Active in the community, Tom supports a variety of not-for-profit organizations.

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3 comments on “It’s 1099-Reporting Time Again…
  1. Kim says:

    Great information — really helpful for those in the rental housing industry — thanks!

  2. Phil K says:

    I think this is a real great blog post. Looking forward to reading more.

  3. Interesting post. Thanks for sharing it!