What is a 1099-MISC and what does it mean?

A 1099-MISC is a type of tax form. It is used to report miscellaneous income for individuals and companies who have been paid $600 or more in non-employee service payments during a calendar year with the exception of royalty payments of $10 or more.

What type of payments are reported on a 1099-MISC

Examples of payments reported on a 1099-MISC form include:

  • Research Subjects (travel/mileage expenses are not reportable)
  • Rents
  • Royalties
  • Prizes
  • Awards
  • Legal Services
  • Medical / Dental Services
  • Guest Speakers / Lectures
  • Honorariums
  • Performers
  • Other Services

What is the difference between a Form W-2 and a Form 1099-MISC?

Both of these forms are called information returns. The Form W-2 is used by employers to report wages, tips and other compensation paid to an employee. The form also reports the employee's income tax and Social Security taxes withheld and any advanced earned income credit payments. The Form W-2 is provided by the employer to the employee and the Social Security Administration.

A Form 1099-MISC is used to report payments made in the course of a trade or business to another person or business who is not an employee. The form is required among other things, when payments of $10 or more in gross royalties or $600 or more in rents or compensation are paid. The form is provided by the payer to the IRS and the person or business that received the payment.

I received a Form 1099-MISC instead of a Form W-2. I'm not self-employed; I do not have a business. How do I report this income?

If payment for services you provided is listed in box 7 of Form 1099-MISC (PDF), you are being treated as a self-employed worker, also referred to as an independent contractor. You do not necessarily have to "have a business," but simply perform services as a non-employee to have your compensation treated this way. The payer has determined that an employer-employee relationship does not exist in your case. That determination is complex, but is essentially made by examining the right to control how, when, and where you perform those services. It is not based on how you are paid, how often you are paid, or whether you work part-time or full-time.

When are 1099-MISC Forms distributed?

IRS regulations mandate that Form 1099-MISC be distributed no later than January 31 of the year following payment. Forms 1099-MISC are mailed via the US Postal Service no later than January 31. Please allow time for delivery.

Who do I contact regarding Form 1099-MISC questions relating to amount, payment detail, incorrect Tax ID or name listed on the form, lost or did not receive Form 1099-MISC?

Questions pertaining to Form 1099-MISC contact misc-1099@uiowa.edu or purchasing-vendor@uiowa.edu.

Who do I contact with questions regarding how to report the amounts from Form 1099-MISC on my tax return?

The worst thing that you can do is ignore your 1099-MISC. By law both you and the company that pays you are required to file a 1099-MISC. Questions regarding how to report the amounts from Form 1099-MISC on your tax return should be directed to your tax professional or the IRS at (800) 829-1040. You can also visit www.irs.gov for information, forms and publications.