The question what are 1099 forms is one that can be approached in any number of ways. The super-technical answer is that 1099 forms are “Certain Information Returns.” Even this isn’t entirely accurate in that other forms—1097, 3921, 5498—are also listed as these Information Returns. The more everyday answer is that these forms are used to document a huge range of non-employee income and financial transactions.
1099 filings are used to document real estate proceeds, pension and retirement plan payments, interest and dividends, education savings account disbursements. The list goes on and on. In fact, the most widely used 1099 form is the one that’s most loosely defined. 1099-MISC (literally means “miscellaneous”) is used for everything from independent contractor income to crop insurance coverage. It’s not just a popular myth. The tax code really is inexplicably complicated.
What are 1099 Forms to You?
Unless you’re asking the question for personal edification or socio-political reasons, then chances are the first thing you need to know is which 1099 form applies to your business dealings and financial disbursements. Some of them are pretty obvious. For example, a lot of people have received 1099-INT from their banking institution for the interest income they’ve earned on their savings. Others are more obscure, such as the 1099-CAP which is used for “changes in corporate control and capital structure.”
The Growing Importance of 1099 Filings
Again, 1099 forms are used to report and file non-employee income. Employers and employees use the equally well-known w-2 form. But here’s the thing, the modern economy is using independent contractors more and more, while using employees less and less.
Here’s another point that demonstrates the complexity of the tax code. There is a set of non-determinative criteria used to evaluate a business relationship as being employee-employer or contractor-business client. I say non-determinative because it’s entirely possible that some aspects of the work and business relationship may be employee-based, while others are contractor-based. Moreover, the IRS admits as much, even to the point that they created Form SS-8 for businesses and workers to formally request a determination of their status.
Comprehensive Software for Small Business Forms Filing
What are 1099 forms? At best, they’re a tedious chore that must be completed each year—if not each quarter. At worst, they’re a major business headache that if not dealt with in a timely manner can result in stiff financial penalties from the IRS. We don’t have the authority to simplify the tax code itself, but our software can help shepherd you through the process, while delivering a bunch of essential data management features and additional software products.
Our platform software, the W-2/1099 Forms Filer, is also versatile and responsive to specific forms filing priorities. Looking for intuitive, error-free forms preparation? Use a data entry screen that resembles the actual form. Looking for superior time efficiency? Use our Browse Command to enter your information on a spreadsheet format. This is just one example of a variety of data entry, reporting, printing, and networking features that come with our Forms Filer platform.
From there, you can add any number of additional products that can offer comprehensive software support for your business forms filing:
- W-2/1099 Forms Filer (required platform)
- Payroll Module
- E-File Direct
- Affordable Care Act Filer
- 1042-S Filer
- Software-Generated Forms
- Forms Filer Plus
Buy your software now, download our demo, or talk to our Sales and Information team at (800) 536-1099.