Tips for Filing 1099-MISC

Tax season is just around the corner. As a business owner, you’ve gotten into the habit of waiting until the last second to prepare those necessary forms. But what if you bucked that trend this year? In the coming weeks, you will want to send annual reports to contract workers you paid in 2017. If you aren’t already aware, Form 1099-MISC is what you are required to send independent contractors. We hope this post will serve as a guide to properly prepare and file the form.

What to Do Before You File 1099-MISC

  1. Check the year on tax forms – The Balance reiterates that the Internal Revenue Services changes 1099’s every year. With that in mind, be sure you have the correct year. Note that if you are sending a contractor a 1099-MISC form for 2017 work in January 2018, use the 2017 form.

  2. Send 1099-MISC to independent contractors, not employees – Remember that this form isn’t to be given to employees. The 1099 form is meant to be sent to outside companies and contractor workers who you paid at least $600 for the year. Full-time employees, meanwhile, should receive a W-2, which we will touch on in future posts.

  3. Ensure you have a W-9 form for each payee – A W-9 form must be completed before you send a 1099-MISC to an independent contractor. What exactly is the purpose of a W-9? Without making it too complicated, it’s used to verify that person’s tax identification number.

  4. Order 1099-MISC forms and use the correct one – Now is the time to order the necessary forms for this tax year. Should you have a payroll service, be sure they have what they need to properly file 1099-MISC forms come January. One quick tidbit on the form itself: You must use the official one. You can’t use a 1099-MISC form you download from the Internet because the red ink on Copy A is unable to be copied.

  5. Check for errors before you submit to the IRS – Folks make a number of mistakes when they go to file 1099 forms. From using the form for the wrong year to sending the form to the wrong company and failing to include all requested information, things happen that significantly delay the process. That’s why it’s imperative to double-check the forms prior to submitting to the IRS.

  6. Record payments in the correct year – This is more complex than it sounds. Let’s say your company is paying a contract worker for the last week in December. However, what makes things tricky is the check was dated in January. So what year should that payment be recorded? Well, that income counts toward January.

More About Form 1099-MISC

Keep in mind that 1099-MISC forms can include rent, royalty, prizes, and awards. Typically, payments made to corporations are not reported on this form. There are exceptions to this rule in some cases. Don’t forget that medical/health care payments and attorneys’ fees must be reported on 1099-MISC forms. All businesses operating for the purpose of making a gain or profit is required to file this form. This includes the likes of nonprofit organizations, trusts, cooperatives, and government agencies.

When is Form 1099-MISC Filed?

1099 preparation is required if a business:

  • Paid at least $10 in royalties, brokerage payments, or tax-exempt interest

  • Paid at least $600 in rent, services, awards, other income payments, and medical payments

  • Paid at least $600 to an attorney

  • Made direct sales of at least $5,000 worth of consumer products

  • Withheld any federal income tax under the backup withholding rules


We are occasionally asked the question, “What’s the penalty for not filing Form 1099-MISC?” The answer is this: You can expect the IRS to impose heavy penalties on your business if the form is not filed or filed properly. Be aware that there is a penalty for not providing recipient copies. Over time, the penalty only increases. That said, it’s critical to file as soon as possible.

E-File 1099 Forms Today

Let this be the year you take control of tax season. is the most cost-effective way to file your 1099 forms, including Form 1099-MISC. Thanks to our online tax reporting service, you can file Form 1099 online in minutes.


What exactly makes different from other 1099 preparation services? Here are just a few of the major benefits:

  • Allows you to process any number of tax forms, seamlessly and economically

  • Takes away the need to buy and fill out long forms

  • Eliminates the need to invest in software or administrative/IT costs

  • The copy of 1099 Forms is electronically sent to the IRS for fast, simple, and stress-free filing

  • We print and mail recipient copies for you to keep for record purposes


It’s time to e-file 1099-MISC. Turn to for all your filing needs this tax season. Let us help you tackle 1099-MISC online.