Form 1099-NEC vs. 1099-MISC for Tax Year 2020


The year is wrapping up and we can’t say that we’ll be sad to see 2020 go! However, before you begin planning your virtual Christmas parties, let’s talk about your end-of-year reporting with the IRS. 

You may have hired independent contractors throughout the year, if so you will need to file a Form 1099 for them, while you may be used to filing the Form 1099-MISC for non employee compensation, this will no longer be the case. 

The Form 1099-NEC, a form that we haven’t seen since the 80’s is being reactivated by the IRS. This is the form that should be used to report nonemployee compensation for Tax Year 2020. 

Here is some helpful information to help you determine when you should file the 1099-NEC and when you should stick to the 1099-MISC. 

Why did the IRS create Form 1099-NEC?

The PATH Act, or Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes has been responsible for many changes to IRS tax filing. This Act requires that employers provide the 1099-MISC for nonemployee compensation to recipients by January 31.

As you may know, nonemployee compensation has been reported in box 7 of the Form 1099- MISC in the past. This created some confusion because the deadline to report nonemployee compensation is different from the deadlines to report other miscellaneous income. The IRS released the Form 1099 NEC in order to clear up any confusion. 

When should you use the Form 1099-NEC? 

Anytime that you are reporting non employee income that you would have entered into box 7 of the 1099-MISC, you should use the Form 1099-NEC instead. 

This specifically reports payments of over $600 made to an independent contractor or freelance worker. 

What is the deadline for filing Form 1099-NEC?

The deadline to file the Form 1099-NEC is January 31. Since the 31st of January falls on a weekend this year, your deadline to file is actually February 1, 2021. 

Remember, employers are also required to distribute copies of Form 1099-NEC to recipients by January 31, 2021. It is crucial that your recipients receive their copy of 1099-NEC because they will use this to report their income on their personal taxes. 

When should you use the Form 1099-MISC?

Just because this form is no longer used to report non employee compensation, doesn’t mean that it isn’t necessary for many businesses to file. There are many other situations that call for the filing of the Form 1099-MISC, according to the IRS, here are the most common:

  • Royalties or broker payments in lieu of dividends exceeding $10.
  • Rents
  • Awards or prizes
  • Medical and healthcare payments
  • Fishing boat proceeds
  • Payments made to attorneys
  • Crop insurance proceeds

What is the deadline to file Form 1099-MISC?

The deadline to distribute recipient copies is February 1, 2021. 

The deadline to paper file the Form 1099-MISC with the IRS is March 1, 2021.

If you choose to e-file, the deadline is March 31, 2021. 

TaxBandits supports both the Form 1099-NEC and the Form 1099-MISC and we are now accepting them for the 2020 tax year!

Are you ready to start e-filing? The holidays are a busy time, you can get started on your Forms 1099-NEC today with TaxBandits. Just create a free account, log in, and you’re ready to begin!

Form 1099

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