The requirements for Form 1099-MISC can seem confusing at times. The good news is any tax professional can clear up questions, and there is a wealth of information online as well concerning who must send out the forms and who are to get them. Here is some general information on the Form 1099-MISC requirements.
All businesses are required by law to issue Form 1099-MISC to those who have performed work or services for them who were not classified as employees. This can include professionals, independent contractors, and other types of individuals and business entities. The Form 1099-MISC is used by the IRS so it can matches the reported income to the person getting it to see that that person is properly reported that money as income. Businesses that do not send out Form 1099-MISC when they are required to do so can face stiff penalties for noncompliance.
Generally speaking, the Form 1099-MISC is to sent out no later than January 31 to the payee, and copies must also be sent to the IRS prior to the last day of February. Some states require that they, too, get copies before certain deadlines. Also, those sending out Form 1099-MISC must file Form 1096. This is a summary of 1099-MISC forms that were sent out.
A Form 1099-MISC must be given to anyone who falls into one of the following:
When non-employees (such as independent contractors) are paid $600 or more.
When there are payments that exceed $10 for royalties, substitute dividends, or and tax-exempt interest.
When payments are made to attorneys or the crew members of fishing boats regardless of the amount paid.
Any payments to persons who are subject to the backup withholding rules regardless of the amount paid.
If there is a sale of $5,000 or more and the sale was for consumer products that are for resale anywhere other than what is considered a permanent retail establishment.
Many times it may be confusing to understand the difference between an employee and an independent contractor. Generally, the IRS says a person is an independent contractor if that person is only subject to the control or direction of another for the sole purposes of detailing or outlining the work that is to be accomplished, BUT is not subject as to methods or to the means by which that intended work is accomplished.
Here is a simple example: A company hires a landscaper to mow the grass. The company can tell the person where the grass is and how often they want it mown, and agree on a price. The landscaper provides his or her own tools, transportation, sets his or her own hours, and is not required to be “on the clock”…this would be an independent contractor.
On the other hand: a company hires a person to do maintenance and this includes mowing the grass. The person is required to clock in and out, is required to be at work at a certain time, is subject to the rules of the company, and is provided the tools needed to get the job done. This person is an employee.