As the year draws to a close, it's not just the holiday season that's around the corner – it's also time to start thinking about tax season. If you're a business owner who works with contractors, you've likely heard the term "1099" thrown around. But what exactly is a 1099, and why does it matter for your business? In this engaging blog, we'll demystify the world of 1099s and guide you through the process.
What Is a 1099?
A 1099 is more than just a form; it's a crucial report that you need to file with both your contractors and the IRS. This report details how much you've paid to each contractor throughout the year. It's an essential part of your financial responsibilities and ensures that everyone is on the same page come tax time.
Who Gets a 1099?
Now that we've established what a 1099 is, let's talk about who needs one. If your business is structured as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC (Limited Liability Company), you'll need to issue 1099s to your contractors. However, if your business falls into the categories of LLC Filing S Corp, S Corps, or C Corps, you're off the hook – you won't need to provide them with a 1099.
Here's a pro tip: If you pay your contractors using PayPal or a credit card, you don't have to worry about issuing a 1099, as the merchant will handle it. However, if you use other methods like bank transfers, ACH, Zelle, checks, or Gusto, it's your responsibility to send out the necessary forms.
Identifying the Entity Structure
The big question now is how to determine the entity structure of your contractors. It's not as complicated as it sounds; all you need is their W9 form. This document will confirm whether they fall into the 1099 category. It's a good practice to start reaching out to your contractors now to ensure you have a copy of their W9 on file.
What Numbers Are Included?
When it comes to the numbers you need to include on the 1099, it's essential to focus on your contractors' fees, not reimbursements. Exclude any reimbursements from your calculations. If you'd like a detailed breakdown of the payments made to the contractor, feel free to reach out, and we'll be happy to provide it.
When Do You Need to File?
Mark your calendars! You have until January 31 each year, to file your 1099s. However, hold off on starting this process until your prior year financials are wrapped up, as the numbers may change.
If you use a bookkeeper who doesn't handle your 1099s, then you want to make sure you get your completed financials as soon as possible so you have the time to file 1099s.
What Information Do You Need for Filing?
To successfully file your 1099s, you'll need the following information:
The contractor's W9 form, which contains their entity type, address, and EIN/SSN.
The contractor's email address to send them a copy of the 1099.
The total amount you paid them in the year for their fees (excluding reimbursements).
How Do You File?
We highly recommend using Track1099 (we have no affiliation with them, just a satisfied recommendation!). Once you have the necessary information, simply enter it into Track1099. This platform will electronically send a copy to both the contractor and the IRS, making the process smooth and hassle-free. If required, Track1099 can also submit the forms to the state.
While there are some associated fees, they are minimal compared to the cost of purchasing paper forms, stamps, and envelopes. Moreover, Track1099 streamlines the process, making it easy to make any necessary revisions after submission.
What's the Next Step?
To set yourself up for a stress-free tax season, start by ensuring you have W9 forms from your contractors. This step can take time, as contractors may not respond promptly. Aim to have these ready in December, so when January rolls around, all you need to do is gather the numbers, enter them into the system, and file.
With these tips in your arsenal, you'll be well-prepared to tackle the world of 1099s and sail through tax season with ease. Don't procrastinate; get started today to ensure a smooth and successful year-end. Happy filing!