Now, if after reading that sentence you sat up in your chair and gasped, then you probably forgot all about this. Man, how in trouble are you? There’s probably nothing you can do to get everything out in time today right?
Not so! If you did almost have a heart attack after realizing what today is, there’s still a spot of luck for you so you don’t get hit with any fines.
First, let’s take a look at the 1099. You may not have been shocked into action because you didn’t realize you had to send them out.
So who gets a 1099? Typically, people who get 1099s are folks who you’ve paid for work but who aren’t on your regular payroll. Did a freelancer write blog posts for you over the year? Or how about an interior decorator that came in a few times to keep up your office? All these people were paid outside of your regular business, so they potentially need a 1099.
I only said “potentially” because there is another stipulation. For instance, did you know that you may not have to send a 1099 form to them if you owe less than $600? If over the course of 2011 you paid them $599 or below for their services, don’t even sweat it.
What’s on the 1099? Despite all the pressure to get these tax forms out on time, it’s a relatively simple piece of paper. The 1099 has basic information like name, address, and Social Security Number or Tax ID number, to identify the contractor/freelancer. To obtain this information, send your contractors an IRS form W-9. To make tax time easier, it’s beneficial to get into the habit of sending W-9’s to all contractors as soon as you hire them. Then, besides that information, the only other info you need is how much you paid to them in 2011.
Also keep in mind you must send your 1099 information to the IRS by March 31st. Many small business owners simply send 1099's to contractors and to the IRS at the same time to fulfill the obligation all at once. And a great solution for this is...
Now, we mentioned there was something you could still do even in this super late hour. Our friends over at FileTaxes.com know all too well how tough it is keeping all the proper forms in line. Remember, you just have to SEND the 1099s out today; they don’t necessarily have to be in your contractor/freelancers hands.
To take the stress and mess out of filling out your 1099s, head over to FileTaxes and let them do the dirty work for you. All you have to do is create an account, enter your information, and print everything you need. FileTaxes.com will also e-file with the IRS for you. Now, your obligations are fulfilled and you can stop worrying!
About the Author:
Laura Messerschmitt is the Vice President of Marketing at Outright, a free online accounting software for small businesses. She loves helping the self-employed and small businesses to be more successful and grow their businesses.