DEFINITION of Form 1099-INT

Form 1099-INT is the IRS tax form used to report interest income. The form is issued by all payers of interest income to investors at year end and includes a breakdown of all types of interest income and related expenses. Payers must issue Form 1099-INTs for any party to whom they paid at least $10 of interest during the year.

BREAKING DOWN Form 1099-INT

When taxpayers borrow money, the lenders charge them interest on the loans. This interest represents a cost of borrowing to the borrower who can be an individual, business, or a government agency. Individual and businesses can borrow money by taking out loans from a bank. Likewise, businesses and federal and municipal governments can borrow money by issuing bonds to investors. Financial institutions pay interest to account holders as compensation for the bank’s use of the deposited funds. The interest received by the investors or lenders is taxable income and must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Brokerage firms, banks, mutual funds, and other financial institutions are required to file Form 1099-INT on interest over $10 paid during the year. The form must be reported to the IRS and sent to each interest recipient by January 31. Information in Form 1099-INT includes:

Interest paid that must be reported on Form 1099-INT will include interest on bank deposits, accumulated dividends paid by a life insurance company, indebtedness (including bonds, debentures, notes, and certificates other than those of the U.S. Treasury) issued in registered form or of a type offered to the public, or amounts from which federal income tax or foreign tax was withheld. In addition, interest accrued by a real estate mortgage investment conduit (REMIC), a financial asset securitization investment trust (FASIT) regular interest holder, or paid to a collateralized debt obligation (CDO) holder, will also be reported here.

A 1099-INT recipient may not have to pay income tax on the interest a payer reports but may still need to report it on his or her return. The IRS uses the information on the form to ensure the interest earner reports the correct amount of interest income on his or her tax return.

The amounts and types of interest will impact which tax form to be used. Taxpayers who receive over $1,500 of taxable interest must list all of their payers on Part 1 of Schedule B on Form 1040, or Part 1 of Schedule 1 on Form 1040A. That said, a taxpayer cannot file Form 1040EZ if his taxable interest income is more than $1,500. Form 1099-INTs will always report interest paid as cash-basis income; this means that income that is owed but not yet paid cannot be reported on this form.