Thursday, June 4, 2009


Hi Larry, I read your blog (regarding the 1099-MISC) and have a related question I hope you can help me with.

I received a 1099-MISC for about $5000 in "self-employment" compensation last year. Only about half of this amount is actually my income, the rest I paid out to 6 subcontractors. However, only one of them received greater than $600 from me so, strictly speaking, I am only required to send THIS person his own 1099-MISC.

I am considering sending the others--who earned less than $600--each a 1099-MISC anyway. Since I want to share my tax burden with my sub-contractors, would it behoove me to send out 1099s to each of them anyway (even though I'm not required to)--just so it's documented as non-employee compensation? Or is this just a waste of time & money? I appreciate any advice you have.


David, regarding your situation, having good records should help you to avoid any problems. As far as a 1099 is concerned, you really only need to give a 1099 to the individual you paid over $600. The other people you pay less than $600 to do not need a 1099. Just by sending them a 1099 does not document they are a non-employee.

If you need to obtain a Form 1099, you can download a copy from the IRS at, in the upper right hand corner there is a search tab.

I do need to mention that 1099s should have been issued to the individual by the end of January and a 1099 with a copy of the 1098 going to the IRS prior to the end of February. If you do get a notice from the IRS that your 1099s are late, I would argue with them that there should be no penalty for late filing. You won’t know about that problem for another six to nine months, but let me know if you do have a problem and I can walk you through it.

I did mention a 1098. A 1098 is really a cover form showing you only had one 1099. The 1098 can also be downloaded from the IRS website. Check out the forms, they are not as confusing as it sounds.

It is a pleasure serving you.

Larry Kopsa