1099-NEC vs 1099-MISC: Know the Differences, Maximize Your Benefits

1099-NEC vs 1099-misc


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

When it comes to annual tax filings, understanding the differences between form 1099-NEC vs 1099-MISC is crucial for businesses and self-employed individuals alike. Both forms serve distinct purposes, and using the correct one can help maximize benefits while avoiding potential penalties. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the details of 1099-NEC and 1099-MISC, covering who needs to use each form, filing deadlines, proper filing procedures, and frequently asked questions.

What is form 1099-NEC?

The 1099-NEC is a form specifically for reporting non-employee compensation—currently defined as payments to self-employed individuals not on payroll on a contract basis to complete a project or assignment such as independent contractors, freelancers, sole proprietors, etc. This would also include gig workers, or self-employed individuals who prior to 2020 had their payments reported in box 7 of a 1099-MISC form.

Who needs to use a 1099-NEC?

If your business paid a contractor more than $600 in the tax year, you must file form 1099-NEC. However, if your independent contractor is registered as a C corporation or S corporation, a 1099-NEC is not necessary. You can find this information on the contractor’s Form W-9.

Do not file a 1099-NEC for employees. Any employee should receive a Form W-2 to report their wages, tips, and other compensation for the tax year. It’s important to note that misclassifying employees as contractors can result in significant penalties.

What is form 1099-MISC?

Form 1099-MISC is a broader information return used to report various types of payments made in the course of business. While it used to include non-employee compensation, the IRS restructured the form in 2020 to exclude this category, creating form 1099-NEC for that specific purpose.

1099 misc vs 1099 nec


Who needs to use a 1099-MISC?

Businesses are required to file form 1099-MISC for miscellaneous payments made to each person that aren’t subject to self-employment tax they paid during the tax year:

– At least $10 in royalties and broker payments in lieu of dividends or tax-exempt interest.

– At least $600 in miscellaneous payments in rents, prizes and awards, medical and health care payments, other income payments, legal settlements and other qualifying reimbursements

Also, a seller selling at least $5,000 in the aggregate of consumer products to a buyer for resale anywhere other than a permanent retail establishment is required to report the sale by checking item 9 on Form 1099-MISC.

What is the deadline for filing 1099-NEC and 1099-MISC?

Form 1099-NEC must be filed with the IRS by January 31st of the year following the applicable tax year. If January 31st falls on a non-business day, the due date is extended to the next business day.

For form 1099-MISC, the deadline is March 1st if filed on paper, or March 31st if filed electronically. If these dates fall on non-business days, the due date is moved to the following business day.

What are the penalties for missing the deadline?

Failing to file form 1099-NEC by the deadline can result in penalties ranging from $50 to $280 per form for the tax year of 2022, depending on how late the filing occurs. The penalties for form 1099-MISC are similar.

1099 misc or 1099 nec

How to file a 1099-NEC and 1099-MISC properly

In general, these are the steps you need to take when filing a 1099-NEC or 1099-MISC form:

  1. Ensure your contractor completes form W9 to collect the contractor’s information: Legal name, address, and taxpayer identification number (TIN) which can be Social Security (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  2. Choose whether you want to e-file or paper file: If you choose to paper file, complete form 1096 which summarizes all the form 1099 forms you’re submitting. If you file electronically, you don’t need to e-file form 1096.
  3. Prepare your 1099 forms: Fill in your information and contractor’s information (name, address, Federal Tax ID number (SSN or EIN)) accurately. Then, fill out the rest of form 1099 form accurately using the information gathered and remember to report the payments in appropriate boxes based on the type of income.  Enter Federal and State Tax Withheld if applicable.
  4. File and send appropriate copies for each recipient: IRS (Copy A), State tax agency (Copy 1), and Recipient (Copies 2 and B). Also, remember to submit to each recipient before the deadline.
  5. Retain a copy of 1099 forms for yourself: retain and store copy C of the form 1099 for at least 3-4 years.


Understanding the distinctions between form 1099-NEC vs 1099-MISC is essential for accurate tax reporting and compliance. By identifying the appropriate form for your specific payments, adhering to deadlines, and following the proper filing procedures, you can streamline your tax filing process and avoid penalties. Keep these guidelines in mind to maximize your benefits while staying in the good graces of the IRS, State and Local Tax Authorities. If you find the procedures too complicated, consider seeking assistance from a professional tax preparation service.


What should I do if I received a 1099-NEC but I am not self-employed?

If you received a form 1099-NEC in error and you are not self-employed, contact the sender immediately to rectify the situation. They may need to issue a corrected version or provide clarification.

Can I use 1099-MISC instead of 1099-NEC?

No, you cannot use form 1099-MISC to report non-employee compensation that is subject to self-employment tax. Form 1099-NEC is specifically designated for this purpose, and using the wrong form may lead to incorrect reporting and potential penalties.

Why did I receive form 1099-NEC instead of form 1099-MISC this year?

The IRS made changes to the reporting requirements in 2020, reintroducing form 1099-NEC specifically for non-employee compensation. If you received form 1099-NEC instead of form 1099-MISC, it is likely because the payments you received fall under the non-employee compensation category.

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