Are you confused about the rules for small businesses and landlords issuing 1099’s for anyone that they’ve paid over $600 to? Has a company asked you to fill out a W9 form because you or your business is doing some kind of work for them? It seems like everybody is a bit confused, even the IRS. But here’s help.
UPDATED JANUARY 2016
The rules have changed several times since the original post. If you’re preparing 1099s or tax returns for tax year 2016–these are the updated rules.
The 1099 law is actually part of the Affordable Care Act although it has nothing to do with health care. Is your head spinning yet? Seriously, the 1099 law states that businesses will be required to issue 1099 forms to contractors that they have paid over $600 to.
So who gets a 1099 MISC? Basically, if you own a business, or are a landlord, you need to issue a 1099-MISC to anyone that you’ve paid over $600 to for labor. So, let’s say you pay a computer programmer to set up your office system – you’d issue a 1099 MISC. But if you buy a computer for $1000 – then you don’t. Confused yet?
Okay, here’s another situation – you issue a 1099 MISC to individuals and LLCs, but not to corporations. So, let’s say Roberg Tax Solutions prepares your business tax return for $800. Roberg Tax Solutions is an LLC, so you think okay, I’ve got to issue a 1099 – BUT, Roberg Tax Solutions has elected to be taxed as an S Corporation. Say what? Now you don’t have to issue me a 1099. How do you keep track of that? By looking at the W9. Make sure all contractors you work with complete a W9 form. It will tell you if they are a corporation or not.
If you need to prepare 1099s, here’s a link that will give you information on how to do it: How to Prepare a 1099
If you’re a landlord or small business owner you should expect that you will need to file 1099 forms for your contract laborers this year. Start collecting information from them now so that you’ll be prepared come January. You’ll need a W9 form, here’s a link: W9
Print it out and have all of your vendors sign one. You can be hard-nosed about this too. No W9, no payment. It’s that easy.
If a business that you provide a product or service to asks you to complete a W9 form, it is a legitimate request. If you’re a sole proprietor and don’t have an EIN number, you may want to apply for one so that you’re not giving out your social security number all over the place. If you’d like more information on EIN numbers, read my other post: Free EIN
You can get an EIN number directly from the IRS for free.
One question that I’m always asked is, “Is there any way to get out of having to issue a 1099?” The answer is, “Yes.” If you pay a vendor with a credit or debit card, you do not have to issue a 1099. The reason is, when you use a credit card to pay a vendor, the credit card company will be issuing a 1099K statement showing the payment you made. So, it you want to reduce the 1099s you have to issue, use your credit card more often.