There’s a new IRS form for business taxpayers that pay or receive nonemployee compensation.

Beginning with tax year 2020, payers must complete Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation, to report any payment of $600 or more to a payee.

Why the new form 1099-NEC?

Prior to 2020, Form 1099-MISC was filed to report payments totaling at least $600 in a calendar year for services performed in a trade or business by someone who isn’t treated as an employee. These payments are referred to as nonemployee compensation (NEC) and the payment amount was reported in box 7.

Form 1099-NEC was reintroduced to alleviate the confusion caused by separate deadlines for Form 1099-MISC that report NEC in box 7 and all other Form 1099-MISC for paper filers and electronic filers. The IRS announced in July 2019 that, for 2020 and thereafter, it will reintroduce the previously retired Form 1099-NEC, which was last used in the 1980s.

What businesses will file?

Payers of nonemployee compensation will now use Form 1099-NEC to report those payments.

Generally, payers must file Form 1099-NEC by January 31. For 2020 tax returns, the due date will be February 1, 2021, because January 31, 2021, is on a Sunday. There’s no automatic 30-day extension to file Form 1099-NEC. However, an extension to file may be available under certain hardship conditions.

What is nonemployee compensation?

The IRS explains that, in general, you must report payments you make if they meet the following four conditions:

  1. The payment is made to someone who is not your employee
  2. The payment is made for services in the course of your trade or business
  3. The payment is made to an individual, partnership, estate, or corporation
  4. The payment total is at least $600 for the year

Additionally, businesses will need to file Form 1099-NEC

  • when they pay an individual at least $10 in royalties, or
  • if the business has withheld any federal income tax under the backup withholding rules regardless of the amount of payments for the year to the nonemployee.

Nonemployee compensation can include:

  • Fees
  • Benefits
  • Commissions
  • Prizes and awards for services performed by a nonemployee
  • Other forms of compensation for services performed for your trade or business by an individual who is not your employee

What details do I need to know about the 1099-NEC form update?

Self-employed individuals should not see personal payments made to them during the year on the new form. Instead, your form should only report payments made as compensation related to the company’s trade or business.

  • The nonemployee compensation reported in Box 1 of Form 1099-NEC is generally reported as self-employment income and likely subject self-employment tax.
  • Payments to individuals that are not reportable on the 1099-NEC form, would typically be reported on Form 1099-MISC.

The IRS provides a more comprehensive list of the types of payments that would be reported in Box 1.

Some examples include:

  • Commissions paid to nonemployee salespeople that are subject to repayment but not repaid during the year
  • Professional service fees, such as fees to attorneys (including corporations), accountants, architects, contractors, etc.
  • Fees paid by one professional to another, such as fee-splitting or referral fees
  • Payments by attorneys to witnesses or experts in legal adjudication
  • Payment for services, including payments for parts or materials used to perform the services

Can a business get an extension?

Form 8809 is used to file for an extension for all types of Forms 1099, as well as for other forms. The IRS recently released a draft of Form 8809. The instructions note that there are no automatic extension requests for Form 1099-NEC. Instead, the IRS will grant only one 30-day extension, and only for certain reasons.

Requests must be submitted on paper. Line 7 lists reasons for requesting an extension. The reasons that an extension to file a Form 1099-NEC (and also a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement) will be granted are:

  • The filer suffered a catastrophic event in a federally declared disaster area that made the filer unable to resume operations or made necessary records unavailable.
  • A filer’s operation was affected by the death, serious illness or unavoidable absence of the individual responsible for filing information returns.
  • The operation of the filer was affected by fire, casualty or natural disaster.
  • The filer was “in the first year of establishment.”
  • The filer didn’t receive data on a payee statement such as Schedule K-1, Form 1042-S, or the statement of sick pay required under IRS regulations in time to prepare an accurate information return.

Need help?

If you have questions about filing Form 1099-NEC or any tax forms, contact us at (281) 829-3800. With our Training and Consulting Services we can assist you in staying in compliance with all rules. Find out how we can help you by scheduling a conference here.

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