When and how do I send 1099s?

As you're collecting your tax forms in January, remember that you may actually need to send tax forms out yourself if you paid anyone $600 or more over the course of last year. If you have never issued a 1099 before and need to this year, don’t worry - it’s a snap.

Before January 31st, here’s what you need to do:

1. For everyone (individuals and LLCs, not “Inc.”s) you paid $600 or more, ask them to fill out a W-9 for you, or to simply give you the following info:

  • Full legal name OR company name (if it's an LLC)
  • Address
  • Social security number (SSN) OR Employer identification number (EIN)

2. Take that info as well as the amount you paid each of those people over the course of the tax year, and go to eFileMyForms.com (or another site that lets you submit 1099s, this is just the one we know and use).

  • Create an account (free)
  • Enter your own info (with your SSN or EIN)
  • Create 1099s for each of the people you paid*

This site will print, mail and file the forms with the IRS for about $3.50/form

* Though you are only required to issue a 1099 if you paid the recipient $600 or more, you can and should still claim as a business expense any amount less than that that you paid to anybody who did work for you when it comes time to do your own taxes. If you got invoices from them, or wrote checks or have bank transfer receipts, all the better if you were to get audited.

Also worth noting is that 1099s are for people and for companies who you paid as contractors. A performer or curator, for example, should get a 1099 if you paid them $600 or more. If you hired a lawyer, they get one even if the firm is incorporated. Them’s the rules.

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