If you’re self-employed and were paid $600 or more by a client last year, the client was supposed to report the payments to the IRS by filing IRS Form 1099-MISC. You must be sent a copy of the form as well. These forms were supposed to be sent to you no later than January 31. However, clients often miss this deadline. So you may not have received all your 1099s.Whenever you receive a 1099-MISC form, check the amount of compensation your client said it paid you against your own records. If there is a mistake, contact the client immediately and request a corrected Form 1099. The client may not have filed the 1099 with the IRS yet, because they are not due until February 28 (March 31 if filed electronically).

If the 1099 has been filed with the IRS, ask the client to send the IRS a corrected 1099. You don’t want the IRS to think you were paid more than you really were. We already know the IRS can scrutinize things like the business mileage deduction, so make sure your 1099 compensation is accurate. The 1099-MISC form has a special box that should be checked to show that the it is correcting a prior 1099 form.

It is up to your clients to file all required 1099s with the IRS. This is not your responsibility. Thus, if a client fails to file a 1099, you have no duty to point it out to the client or make sure that the form is filed. Nothing will happen to you if a client fails to file a required 1099 (the client—not you—may have to pay fines to the IRS). However, whether or not you receive a Form 1099, you are supposed to report all the self-employment income you earn each year to the IRS.

Stephen Fishman

Stephen Fishman

Stephen Fishman is a self-employed tax expert and regular contributor to MileIQ. He has dedicated his career as an attorney and author to writing useful, authoritative and recognized guides on taxes and business law for entrepreneurs, independent contractors, freelancers and other self-employed people. He is the author of over 20 books and hundreds of articles, and has been quoted in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and many other publications. Visit Fishman Law and Tax Files for more information on his work.
Stephen Fishman