Get a Jumpstart on 1099’s for Contractors

In a little over a month, it will be 2017 and time for year-end accounting chores.   One of those chores is getting your 1099s out, and now is a good time to tie up loose ends so the year-end process can go smoother. Here are some tips to do just that:

  1. Go through your vendor list and make sure each contractor that you are paying is marked as a contractor eligible for a 1099.
    • In 2013 and higher, this is found in the Tax Settings for the vendor.
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    • If you have a large list of vendors, here’s another way to verify they are marked 1099 eligible, you have the Tax ID and address. Click on Lists>Add/Edit Multiple List Items, then select the Vendors list and customize the columns so all the appropriate fields are easily seen and can be edited.
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  2. Obtain a W-9 form from each contractor if you haven’t already, and update the address and federal EIN for each contractor. This will ensure that you have the most current information for each contractor and that they will receive their 1099 promptly.
    • If you need to make any changes in the way you are paying them or withholding taxes, you’ll have a chance to update that information as well.
  3. Ask your contractors for a worker’s compensation certificate. If you don’t have one, you might need to add their payment totals to your payroll amounts on your worker’s compensation audit worksheet.
  4. Contractors paid with a check will require 1099s. Contractors paid via PayPal or credit card will not.
    • If you have PayPal set up as bank account in QuickBooks and when you make payments from PayPal then you may either have a PayPal transaction number for the check number or you may have left it blank. Put the form of payment (PayPal in this example) in the check number as shown below.
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  5. Consider re-evaluating each contractor as to whether they meet the employee versus contractor tests from the IRS.
    • If you are accidentally misclassifying a contractor who the IRS defines as an employee, you will be responsible for social security, withholding, and other payroll taxes, plus penalties and interest which can add up to huge numbers for small businesses.
    • This is a “red flag” area for the IRS, meaning they are looking to “bust” employers. However, they also have a Voluntary Classification Settlement Program for people who have been misclassifying workers in the past and want to come clean.

 

Following these five steps will put you in great shape for year-end.

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