NEW for the 2020 Tax Year: Form 1099-NEC

IRS Form 1099-NEC (nonemployee compensation)

For the 2020 Tax Year, the IRS is requiring a new form, the 1099-NEC to report nonemployee compensation.  The 1099-NEC is a whole form dedicated to BOX 7 (nonemployee compensation) formerly on the Form 1099-MISC.

1099 Quiz

  1. To whom do you, as a business owner, need to issue a 1099?
  2. To whom do you NOT need to issue a 1099?
  3. BONUS QUESTION:  What box in the 1099-MISC does the 1099-NEC replace for Tax Year 2020?

Who is required to submit a 1099-NEC?

All businesses must submit a Form 1099-NEC form for nonemployee compensation if all four of these conditions are met regarding a payment:

  • It is made to someone who is not your employee.
  • It is made for services in the course of your trade or business.
  • It was made to an individual, partnership, estate, or corporation.
  • The payments made to the payee were at least $600 or more for the year.

Examples of 1099-NEC reporting requirements

Examples of payments you must report on Form 1099-NEC include: 

  • Professional service fees to attorneys (including law firms established as corporations), accountants, architects, etc.
  • Fees paid by one professional to another (fee-splitting, for example)
  • Payments for services including payment for parts or materials used to perform the services if they were incidental to the service
  • Commissions paid to nonemployee salespeople not repaid during the year  

Don’t use Form 1099-NEC to report personal payments. It’s only to be used for payments if you are in a trade or business for profit.

Yes, the 1099-MISC is still required 

Form 1099-MISC is still filed for each person to whom you have paid during the year:

  • At least $10 in royalties or broker payments in lieu of dividends or tax-exempt interest.
  • At least $600 in:
    • Rents.
    • Prizes and awards.
  • Other income payments.
  • Medical and health care payments.
  • Crop insurance proceeds.
  • Cash payments for fish (or other aquatic life) you purchase from anyone engaged in the trade or business of catching fish.
  • Generally, the cash paid from a notional principal contract to an individual, partnership, or estate.
  • Payments to an attorney for expenses other than legal fees
  • Any fishing boat proceeds.

What are the exceptions? 

The most common vendors that you don’t need to send a 1099-NEC to are:

  • Vendors operating as S or C-Corporations (you’ll find their status out when you get a W-9)
  • LLCs or partnerships (ONLY if they are taxed as an S or C-Corp)
  • Sellers of merchandise, freight, storage or similar items.
  • Payments of rent to or through real estate agents (typically property managers). However, keep in mind you need to issue a 1099 to a landlord you are paying rent, unless they meet another exception.

 DO NOT ISSUE 1099-NEC or 1099-MISC

To BIG BOX Chains like Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowes, or Telephone/cable companies like AT&T or Verizon,

The W-9 is your best friend. 

You may be frustrated that you don’t have the information you need to issue the 1099-NEC. One of the smartest procedures a business owner can implement is to request a W-9 from any vendor you expect to pay more than $600 before you pay them. Using this as a normal business practice will give you the vendor’s mailing information, Tax ID number and also require them to indicate if they are a corporation or not (possibly saving you the headache of sending them a 1099 next year).  

Filing dates for 1099-NEC and 1099-MISC

Section 6071(c) of IRS Code requires you to file:

  • Form 1099-NEC on or before February 1, 2021, using paper or electronic filing
  • Form 1099-MISC by March 1, 2021, if you file on paper, or March 31, 2021, if you file electronically.