Write Off Your Payments To Contractors With W-9s and 1099s

14 October 2014
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w-9s and 1099s are forms business owners use to report payments of at least $600 for the year. The contractor fills out the W-9, and the business owner issues a 1099 at the end of the year. If you use independent contractors to perform services for your business or rental that is a trade or business, and you pay them $600 or more for the year, you must issue them a Form 1099 after the end of the year to avoid facing the loss of the deduction for their labor and expenses. Note that this requirement generally does not apply for payments made to a corporation. However, the exception does not apply to payments made for attorney fees and for certain payments for medical or health care services.

It is not uncommon to have a repairman out early in the year, pay him less than $600, then use his services again later and have the total for the year exceed the $600 limit. As a result, you may overlook getting the information needed to file the 1099s for the year. Therefore, it is good practice to always have individuals who are not incorporated complete and sign the IRS Form W-9 the first time you use their services. Having a properly completed and signed Form W-9 for all independent contractors and service providers eliminates any oversights and protects you against IRS penalties and conflicts.

Many small business owners and landlords overlook this requirement during the year, and when the end of the year arrives and it is time to issue 1099s to contractors, they realize they have not collected the required documentation. Often it is difficult to acquire the contractor’s information after the fact, especially from those contractors with no intention of reporting the income.

IRS Form W-9, “Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification,” is provided by the government as a means for you to obtain the data required from your vendors in order to file the 1099s. It also provides you with verification that you complied with the law should the vendor provide you with incorrect information. We highly recommend that you have a potential vendor or independent contractor complete a Form W-9 before engaging in business with him or her.

If you have questions or need copies of the Form W-9, please call Dagley & Co. We are always here to assist you with your 1099 filing requirements.

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