By law, clients have until January 31st to send their independent contractors a 1099 form. If you receive a paper copy of this form, you might receive it in the mail a few days after filing and sending, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have all your paperwork by the second week in February. Most of us are fortunate to have clients who don’t send a 1099 as they should. However, a client who is tardy or remiss with paperwork shouldn’t keep you from taking care of business.
What to do if a client doesn’t send a 1099
It’s in your client‘s best interest to send a 1099. Still, there are times when this just doesn’t happen. If you don’t receive your copy, there’s no reason to panic as it’s not a hardship or a crisis. First, determine if you earned less than $600 from said client. If you earned below that amount, they don’t have to report it to the IRS and, thus, you won’t receive your 1099 form. While they don’t have to send you
Important: While clients don’t have to send you a 1099 for a small amount, you still have to report all wages.
If you earned more than $600 and your client isn’t sending you the required paperwork, the onus is on you to file anyway. The 1099-MISC is a courtesy. While it’s nice for the IRS to have something to cross check against your income, it’s not mandatory for you to have it to report your income.
Hopefully, you kept good records and have back up in the forms of check stubs, bank deposit information, Paypal reports, and invoices. Keep these records for several years in the event of an audit. If the IRS feels something is funny or that you’ve been under-reporting your income, you’ll need to have the proof to back it up.
Don’t Hide Income
If you don’t receive your 1099-MISC from a client, it’s best to be honest about your income. Don’t feel that if a client isn’t reporting, that you shouldn’t either. It’s better to own up to everything you earned, than to pay hefty fines later.
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