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Understanding the Difference Between 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC

    Published August 29, 2023

    Tax forms can be a perplexing maze, particularly when it comes to differentiating between a 1099-MISC and a 1099-NEC. These forms are issued by the IRS and keep track of income from self-employment and other sources not included in regular employment. For businesses and independent contractors, understanding the difference between a 1099-MISC and a 1099-NEC is a critical aspect of their tax responsibilities and can be instrumental in avoiding potential tax issues in the future.

    What is a 1099-MISC?

    The 1099-MISC form is used to report miscellaneous income. This could include things like rent, prizes, awards, healthcare payments, or other income that does not fit into the categories covered by other tax forms. The form also covers payments made to corporations for the purchase of fish for resale, medical and health care payments, substitute payments in lieu of dividends or tax-exempt interest, and gross proceeds paid to an attorney. If you pay at least $600 in rents, prizes, and awards, or other income payments, you need to report these on a 1099-MISC form.

    What is a 1099-NEC?

    The 1099-NEC is a more recent form that was reintroduced in 2020 and is specifically designed to report nonemployee compensation. This encompasses payments made to independent contractors, self-employed individuals, including attorneys, who offer services to a business. Payments that exceed $600 and are made to nonemployees in the course of your trade or business should be reported in box 1 of Form 1099-NEC.

    The Key Differences

    The primary difference between these two forms is the type of income they report. While the 1099-MISC covers a broad range of income types, the 1099-NEC is specifically for nonemployee compensation. This means that if you are a business owner paying an independent contractor for their services, you will likely need to provide them with a 1099-NEC, not a 1099-MISC.

    Another key difference is the deadline for filing each tax form. The 1099-NEC must be filed by January 31st of the year following the tax year, while the 1099-MISC has a later deadline in March.

    How JTC CPAs Can Help

    Understanding the nuances between the 1099-MISC and the 1099-NEC is important for accurate tax reporting. If you find yourself uncertain about which form to use, do not hesitate to seek professional advice. Our growing team of tax professionals at JTC CPAs stands ready to assist you. For more detailed information or personalized guidance, reach out to JTC CPAs at 208-947-2400.


    Contributor: Caleb Sapp