Back to Blog

What is the difference between Tax Forms 1099-NEC and 1099-MISC?

Lauren DeBisschop
Oct 27, 2023

Learn the purpose, note the deadlines, and feel prepared to utilize each 1099 form.

Table of Contents:

Do you know when your business should use Form 1099-NEC and when to use 1099-MISC? These two forms are commonly used IRS information returns that play a crucial role in various situations.

The main difference between the 1099-NEC and 1099-MISC forms lies in the type of income being reported. The 1099-NEC is specifically designed for reporting non-employee compensation, such as payments made to independent contractors, freelancers, or consultants.

On the other hand, the 1099-MISC form is used for reporting a broad range of miscellaneous income, including rents, royalties, prizes, or other types of income not covered by other 1099 forms.

Navigating the intricacies of tax forms can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to differentiating between Form 1099-NEC and Form 1099-MISC. Let's unravel these forms and explore why they are essential for your business.

The Importance of 1099 Forms

Form 1099-MISC, is an all-in-one form that covers a multitude of payments. For a long time, it provided a straightforward way to report non-employee compensation exceeding $600 for the calendar year.

However, in 2018, the IRS introduced separate filing requirements for 1099-MISC forms, one with non-employee compensation and one without. Confusion and frustration surrounded the change, as many filers still had to submit the same form twice.

The rise of the "gig economy" has led to an increase in non-employee workers, such as rideshare drivers, photographers, and writers. This growing segment requires a clear and uncomplicated form to accurately report their income.

To simplify the process, Form 1099-NEC was reintroduced for tax year 2020, removing non-employee compensation from Form 1099-MISC entirely. Now, Form 1099-NEC must be used to specifically report compensation for gig workers, independent contractors, and the like.

Form 1099-NEC

The 1099-NEC (“Non-Employee Compensation”) is an IRS form designed for handling non-employee compensation payments. If your business engages independent contractors or freelancers and pays them $600 or more for their services, the 1099-NEC is the appropriate form to report their compensation.  

Conditions for Filing Form 1099-NEC

To meet the IRS requirements for filing Form 1099-NEC, the following conditions must be met for each person you have made payments to during the year:

  • The payment was made to someone who is not your employee.
  • The payment was for services rendered in the course of your trade or business.
  • The payment was made to an individual, a partnership, an estate, or, in certain cases, a corporation.
  • Payments to the payee totaled at least $600 during the year.

How to File Form 1099-NEC

On Form 1099-NEC, there is a single box (Box 1) dedicated to reporting non-employee compensation. Once you've provided the necessary information for both the recipient, including their name, SSN, address, and other details, you can easily enter the total amount in this box.

The newly launched Information Return Intake System (IRIS) is designed to streamline the e-filing of 1099 forms, in response to evolving e-filing regulations. This portal is your destination for submitting 1099-NEC forms. Remember to secure a Transmitter Control Code (TCC) to access the portal, unless you choose a trusted partner like Greenshades to handle your filing requirements.

Form 1099-MISC

Form 1099-MISC, also known as the "Miscellaneous" form, serves as the primary form for reporting various types of other income. It encompasses a broad range of payments, such as fees, commissions, and prizes. If your business has made payments totaling over $600 in these specific categories, you will be required to complete and submit this form to the IRS for reporting purposes.

Conditions for Filing Form 1099-MISC

According to the IRS guidelines, you are required to file Form 1099-MISC for payments of $600 or more (unless stated otherwise) that are made in the course of your trade or business related to the following categories:

  • Prizes and awards (excluding amounts paid to employees)
  • Rents
  • Royalties (amounting to $10 or more)
  • Gross proceeds paid to an attorney in connection with legal services
  • Any person from whom you have withheld federal income tax under the backup withholding rules, irrespective of the payment amount.

How to File Form 1099-MISC

On Form 1099-MISC, there are multiple boxes to report different types of income. Once you've provided the necessary information for both the payee and recipient, including their name, SSN, address, and other details, you can enter the total in the appropriate box.

Important IRS Deadlines

To ensure compliance and accurate record-keeping, your business will need to complete and transmit three copies of each form. The designated deadlines are as follows:

  • File Copy A to the IRS.
  • Form-NEC is due on or before January 31 using either paper or electronic filing procedures.
  • Form-MISC is due by February 28 (if filing on paper) or March 31 (if filing electronically).
  • File Copy B (for both forms) to the recipient by January 31.
  • File Copy 1 to your state tax department, if applicable. Check with your tax advisor, as it’s important to note that not all states require the reporting of 1099s.  
  • Of the states that require it, many participate in the Combined Federal/State Filing Program which streamlines 1099 filing requirements.  

Enhance Your 1099 Filing with Greenshades

The recent IRS e-filing threshold reduction means that businesses filing 10 or more returns in a calendar year are now required to file electronically. With Greenshades, you can enhance your 1099 e-filing experience in multiple ways.

  1. Reduce Manual Entry: Our solution seamlessly integrates with your accounting and payroll systems, ensuring smooth data transfer and automated generation of 1099 forms.
  1. Increase Form Accuracy: Experience improved accuracy and security with our built-in validation checks that reduce the likelihood of errors or missing information.
  1. Handle Compliance with Less Hassle: Stay compliant with the latest regulations and updates by verifying social security numbers and critical information, keeping track of deadlines, and more.

Ready to learn more about e-filing with Greenshades? Contact us to discover how our solution can streamline your 1099 filing process and help you achieve greater efficiency and compliance.

Our latest articles, opinions, and more
Get the latest updates from our company by subscribing to our newsletter. Stay up-to-date with our content, receive news about our products, and gain industry insights from our experts. Don't miss out on this valuable resource - sign up today!
By subscribing to our email updates, you agree with our Privacy Policy.
See the difference for yourself.
Get a demo