What Is Form 1099-MISC?

what kind of payments require a 1099-MISC Form?

The Balance / Evan Polenghi


A 1099-MISC tax form is used for reporting taxable payments from your business to a variety of payees. You must report payments you make to miscellaneous types of payees during the year, and you must give these reports to the payee and send them to the IRS.

Key Takeaways

  • Form 1099-MISC is a tax form that reports a variety of payments that your business makes to different people throughout the year.
  • You'll primarily use form 1099-MISC when you make payments of $600 or more in the form of prizes and awards, rents, health and medical care payments, and more.
  • You can order 1099-MISC tax forms from the IRS.
  • You can file it with the IRS through the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) system.

How Does Form 1099-MISC Work? 

A 1099-MISC is a form used by businesses to report miscellaneous taxable payments to many different kinds of payees.

You can’t use the 1099-MISC form for payments you make to nonemployees (independent contractors and others who provide services to your business). You must file Form 1099-NEC (for nonemployee compensation) to report these payments.

Who Uses Form 1099-MISC? 

If you are in a trade or business, you must use 1099-MISC forms to report the amount you have paid to others during the year. The IRS considers “trade or business” to include: 

  • Operating for gain or profit
  • A non-profit organization, including 501(c)3 and (d) organizations
  • A trust of a qualified employer pension or profit-sharing plan
  • A non-exempt farmers’ cooperative 
  • A widely held fixed investment trust

Who Receives a 1099-MISC Form? 

Use Form 1099-MISC to report payments of $600 or more to a specific payee for the year (exceptions below). This is a list of the most common types of payees:

  • Rents: Payments to rent or lease space, to the owners of that space (not real estate agents or property managers), and payments for machine rentals
  • Prizes and awards: The fair market value of merchandise awards, but not from wagers
  • Medical and health care payments: Payments to health care providers and medical or health care service providers
  • Attorneys: Payments to attorneys for gross proceeds (from a lawsuit settlement, for example), but not for attorney legal fees (those are reported on Form 1099-NEC)

Exceptions to the Minimum $600 a Year Regulation

  • Royalties: Payments of at least $10 during the year to owners of a property (including intellectual property) for use of that property
  • Backup withholding: All withholding from anyone from whom you withheld money as a result of a backup court order, even if it’s less than $600. Report backup withholding from nonemployees on Form 1099-NEC.
  • Direct sales: Sales of at least $5,000 of consumer products for resale anywhere other than a permanent retail establishment. Enter an “X” in the checkbox; don’t enter a dollar amount. 
  • All excess golden parachute payments: Amounts over average annual compensation for services included in the individual's gross income over the past five years

Don’t use Form 1099-MISC to report payments to: 

  • Employees—use Form W-2 for all types of payments to employees
  • Nonemployees (with some exceptions)
  • Corporations (with some exceptions)
  • Pay for merchandise, telegraphs, telephone, freight, storage, and other similar items

How Do I Fill Out Form 1099-MISC?

The 1099-MISC is a multi-part form with these parts:

  • Copy A (in red) for the IRS
  • Copy 1 for the state tax department
  • Copy B for the recipient
Form 1099-MISC for tax payments

The information on a 1099-MISC form is in two parts: 

  1. Information about the payer and the payee, including taxpayer ID numbers for both 
  2. Boxes for reporting different types of payments

The form also includes a checkbox for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) filing requirement. This box applies to the FATCA reporting on foreign assets that may be subject to withholding. If you aren’t sure about FATCA reporting, check with your tax professional.

In order to complete this form, you’ll need information from each payee. You must get a Form W-9 from payees to verify the payee’s identity and especially to get their taxpayer ID number.

Enter the amounts you paid to that payee in the correct box (see above), based on the type of payments you made, in Boxes 1-15. 

Box 4 is for any federal income tax you withheld from that payee, usually only for backup withholding. 

Boxes 16, 17, and 18 are for state income tax purposes.


Be sure to enter payments in the correct box, because the IRS checks to see that both payer and payee entries are in the same box.

Form 1099-MISC vs. Form 1099-NEC

 Form 1099-MISC Form 1099-NEC
Report payments for rents, royalties, prizes, medical/health care payments, backup withholding, and other Report payments to nonemployees, including independent contractors, small businesses, attorneys, and individuals
Due date: Feb. 28 of the year after the tax year Due date: Jan. 31 of the year after the tax year
Don’t report for employees (for all types of payments) or for nonemployees Don’t report for employees (for all types of payments)

How Do I Get Form 1099-MISC? 

You can get the multi-part form in several ways. You can:


You can’t use a print Copy A of Form 1099-MISC on a copier. This form is in a specific color of machine-readable red ink. You must buy the forms or send them electronically.

How Do I File Form 1099-MISC? 

You can file your 1099-MISC forms with the IRS through the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) system. You must file electronically if you are filing 250 or more 1099-MISC forms in a year.

You may submit your 1099-MISC forms to the IRS by mail if you are filing fewer than 250 forms. If you are filing a paper form, you must include Form 1096 summarizing all the 1099-MISC forms you’ve prepared. Mailing addresses are on page 7 of the IRS document General Instructions for Certain Information Returns.

Due Dates for Form 1099-MISC

All 1099-MISC forms must be submitted to the payee by Feb. 28 of the following year, so they can use the form to prepare their income taxes.  

You must file Form 1099-MISC with the IRS by Feb. 28 of the following year, if you file on paper, or by March 31 if you file electronically.


The date for filing these tax reports varies each year because of weekends and holidays.

What Are the Penalties for Not Filing This Form? 

If you don’t file Form 1099-MISC with the IRS by the due date, you can be penalized. You may also get a penalty if you filed on paper when you were required to file electronically, if you failed to report a taxpayer ID or it was incorrect, or if you use a paper form that’s not machine-readable. 

The penalty is applied for each form and it’s based on when you file and if the information is correct. Small businesses (under $5 million in gross receipts) may have lower penalties if they can show reasonable cause for the delay.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Form 1099-MISC used for?

A 1099-MISC tax form is used for reporting taxable payments from your business to a variety of payees. If you pay rents, royalties, medical or health care, and other types of payments, you'll need to send these individuals and the IRS a 1099-MISC.

Where do you mail form 1099-MISC to the IRS?

If you are eligible to mail form 1099-MISC to the IRS, you will need to mail it to an address that is assigned to your state. There are three addresses that can be found in the IRS document General Instructions for Certain Information Returns. Mailing addresses are on page 7.

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  1. IRS. "Form 1099-MISC."

  2. IRS. "About Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income."

  3. IRS. "Instructions for Forms 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC."

  4. IRS. "General Instructions for Certain Information Returns."

  5. Tax.gov. "Online Tax Calendar."

  6. IRS. "Part 20. Penalty and Interest, Chapter 1. Penalty Handbook, Section 7. Information Return Penalties."

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