The 411 on 1099s: What RIA Owners Need to Know

5 min read
January 29, 2024
Here at XYPN Books, we have a slightly modified version of Benjamin Franklin’s timeless declaration, "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." We like to add: "...and questions about 1099s."
And since keeping clean books that can survive any audit threat is our specialty, we’ve collected the most common 1099 questions fee-only advisors have had for us. 

What is a 1099 and why is it important? 

While a lot of mystery surrounds the topic, IRS Form 1099 is nothing more than a collection of tax forms documenting different types of payments made by an individual or a business that typically doesn't employ the recipient.  There are 22 types of 1099 forms including the 1099-MISC, the 1099-NEC, and the 1099-K.

Since it generates the most questions, we'll focus on File Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation, which reports miscellaneous payments made to non-employee individuals for services provided to your business.  

Note: If 1099-NEC sounds new to you, that's just the IRS keeping you on your toes. Previously, Form 1099-MISC (box 7) was used to report non-employee compensation. But starting in the 2020 tax year, the IRS returned to utilizing form 1099-NEC to report non-employee compensation.

As for the importance of issuing 1099s, you can connect the dots between correctly reporting what are ultimately business expenses and more favorable outcomes when it comes time to file your company's taxes. 

Who receives a 1099-NEC?

In a nutshell: any non-employee who does $600 or more worth of work for your company during the tax year will need to receive a 1099.  Specifically:

  1. Attorneys (See important exemptions to this below)
  2. Vendors (defined as a federal executive agency)
  3. Independent contractors who perform services and are not your employees (including parts and materials)

Some likely non-employees may include the temporary assistant you hired from Fiverr or the marketing freelancer you found on Upwork to do a couple of hours of gig work for you. 

In Publication 15-A, the IRS gives guidelines for determining whether someone is an independent contractor or “non-employee,” but it comes down to a non-employee who is generally NOT subject to the business’s instructions about when, where, and how to work. Which brings us to our next FAQ…

What is "Nonemployee Compensation"?

Per the IRS, if the following four conditions are met, you must generally report a payment as non-employee compensation:

  1. You made the payment to someone who is not your employee
  2. You made the payment for services in the course of your trade or business (including government agencies and non-profit organizations)
  3. You made the payment to an individual, partnership, estate, or in some cases, a corporation; and
  4. You made payments to the payee of at least $600 during the course of the year

Do I need to issue a 1099-NEC for payments made for personal purposes?

Nope. You are only required to issue 1099-MISC forms for payments you made in the course of your trade or business. Personal purposes don’t count. 

Want to spend more time serving your clients and less time managing your books?  We can help with that—learn more about XYPN Books!

Are there exceptions to the 1099-NEC requirement?

Of course. This is tax law we’re talking about.

Some payments do NOT have to be reported on Form 1099-NEC, although they may be taxable to the recipient.  Here are some of the more applicable nonemployee payment exemptions:

  1. Generally, payments to a corporation including LLCs that operate as a C or S corp (Note: You can determine/verify the business structure from the box selected in Section 3. of their W-9)
  2. Wages, any bonuses, prizes, and awards paid to employees (report these on Form W-2).
  3. Military differential wage payments made to employees while they are on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or other uniformed services (report on Form W-2)
  4. Business travel allowances paid to employees (may be reportable on Form W-2)

But there’s an exception to this exemption. Remember those legal services mentioned above?  That's right, you are required to file a 1099-NEC regardless of their entity's structure (noted above as the excepted LLC, S or C Corps)—UNLESS you pay by credit card

Payments made via credit card or PayPal do not necessitate filing a 1099 because the credit card processor will send a 1099K to the individual or company at the end of the year…which means if you paid for legal services via credit card or PayPal, you DON'T need to send a 1099.  (Kind of a double Reverse Uno card).  

How can I make the 1099 process easier at year-end?

There are a few things you can do to make your life easier:

  1. Collect W-9s upfront from any vendor you expect to pay more than $600. How can you encourage vendors to provide their W-9s in a timely manner? Tell them you’ll pay them once it’s received. That typically does the trick.
  2. When doing monthly bookkeeping, record the vendor name in the payee line.
  3. Pay for things on a credit card if possible.
  4. If you are using Quickbooks Online, we encourage you to review your vendors, hit edit on the ones that should receive 1099’s, and check the “Track for 1099s” box. This will allow you to easily pull the “1099 Transaction Detail Report” in QBO. You may need to adjust some settings in that report for all vendors to show up. 
  5. Engage XYPN Books to do your bookkeeping and remove the headache

When are the deadlines?

The Federal filing date for Form 1099-NEC is January 31st.  You also need to furnish a statement to the recipient by January 31st.  Check with your state to see if you have to file copies of the 1099s with them.

Additional Resources

If you’re searching for more information or in need of additional guidance, review these helpful resources: 

Didn't find your answer?

If you have any 1099 questions that we didn’t cover here, or would like to know more about how XYPN Books can help you bring balance to your books and business so you can spend more time serving your clients, get in touch!  

Resources consulted:
Wolny, Nick. “All 22 Types of 1099 Tax Forms, Explained.” CNET, 8 February 2023, Accessed 4 January 2024.

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Jocelyn Rucker

Jocelyn Rucker

Meet Jocelyn Rucker, the self proclaimed Zena the warrior princess of bookkeeping and taxes. I believe in “rendering to God what is God’s and to Ceasar’s what is Ceasar’s,” nothing more, nothing less. I love sticking up for the small business owner, of which I have several in my family, helping them navigate the “clear as mud” tax code, legally. After all it’s not just what you earn, but what you keep & what you do with what you keep. Interested in all things finance, together with my fellow XY Bookies, we collaborate to help you do more of what you love.

Danielle Simard

Danielle Simard

From Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Dani started her bookkeeping career with XYPN books in 2021 and has grown to be the Accounting Manager. She loves to go fly fishing during the summer and when it starts to snow, she hits the ski slopes. Her favorite food is buffalo chicken pizza and her favorite book is The Alchemist, by Paul Coelho. 

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