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What is a 1099-MISC?

Right about now, you will have received most of your tax forms. The Form W-2 [3] if you are employed, a 1099-INT from all the banks that paid you all those pennies in interest, and maybe even a Form 1099-K [4] if you sold a lot of things on eBay.

Another common form that you may get is the Form 1099-MISC. A 1099-MISC [5] is a tax form sent by someone who has paid you money, usually over $600 in a year, in return for work you did for them. It’s often issued to independent contractors by employers, instead of a W-2, but can be used to report rent, royalties, and any other income that wouldn’t otherwise get reported.

Getting a Form 1099-MISC

If you received a Form 1099-MISC, all you have to do is report income on your Schedule C of the Form 1040 [6]. Schedule C is for Profit or Loss From Business (Sole Proprietorship) and anytime you get paid as an individual, you have to declare that as income on that section of the 1040.

Sending a Form 1099-MISC

What if you’re a business and you paid an independent contractor more than $600 last year? Simple – it’s time for you to file a 1099-MISC! You will need to fill out the 1099-MISC form and make sure to send out the contractor’s copy by January 31st. The copy due to the IRS must be mailed before February 28th. You get until March 31st if you e-file, but to be safe I would send it in at the end of February.

If you were going to receive a 1099-MISC, you should’ve received one by now. They, like W-2s, are usually mailed by January 31st, later if that happens to fall on a weekend or holiday.