1099-MISC Form: What It Is and What It's Used For

What Is Form 1099-MISC: Miscellaneous Income?

Form 1099-MISC: Miscellaneous Income (or Miscellaneous Information, as it’s now called) is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form used to report certain types of miscellaneous compensation, such as rents, prizes, and awards, healthcare payments, and payments to an attorney.

Before the 2020 tax year, Form 1099-MISC was also used to report nonemployee compensation for independent contractors, freelancers, sole proprietors, and self-employed individuals. Starting with 2020, this nonemployee pay is reported on Form 1099-NEC: Nonemployee Compensation. These forms generally report business payments—not personal ones.

A 1099-MISC form is one of many in the 1099 series and among those commonly used. Taxpayers receive 1099s, including Form 1099-MISC, shortly after the end of the tax year and use the information to report the income that they received. 

Key Takeaways

  • Form 1099-MISC is used to report miscellaneous compensation such as rents, prizes, and awards, medical and healthcare payments, and payments to an attorney.
  • Until 2020, it also was used to report the income of taxpayers who are not employees, such as independent contractors, freelancers, sole proprietors, and self-employed individuals.
  • Nonemployee compensation is now reported on Form 1099-NEC.
  • A taxpayer would receive a Form 1099-MISC if you paid them $10 or more in royalties or $600 or more in other types of miscellaneous income during a calendar year.

Who Files Form 1099-MISC: Miscellaneous Income?

Form 1099-MISC: Miscellaneous Income (aka Miscellaneous Information) is completed and sent out by someone who has paid at least $10 in royalties or broker payments in lieu of dividends or tax-exempt interest to another person. It’s also sent to each person to whom you paid at least $600 during the calendar year in the following categories:

  • Rents (real estate agents and property managers report rent paid to property owners, for instance, or you report the office space rent that you paid)
  • Prizes and awards
  • Other income payments
  • Medical and healthcare payments (made in the course of your trade or business)
  • Crop insurance proceeds
  • Cash payments for fish (or other aquatic life) purchased from anyone who makes a living catching fish
  • Cash paid from a notional principal contract to an individual, partnership, or estate
  • Payments to an attorney
  • Any fishing boat proceeds

The form is also used to report direct sales of at least $5,000 of consumer products to a buyer for resale anywhere other than a permanent retail establishment.

The payer must send the form to the recipient by Feb. 1 and file it with the IRS by March 1 (March 31 if filing electronically). The recipient can attach the form to their tax return.

The IRS overhauled Form 1099-MISC in 2020 and introduced a new form, called Form 1099-NEC, for nonemployee compensation (which previously was reported in Box 7 of Form 1099-MISC).

How to File Form 1099-MISC: Miscellaneous Income

A multipart fillable Form 1099-MISC is available on the IRS website.

Copy A of Form 1099-MISC appears in red. This copy of the form is not intended for printing; it is for IRS use only.

The black parts of the form can be completed, downloaded, and printed:

  • Copy 1 goes to the recipient’s state tax department
  • Copy B is sent to the recipient
  • Copy 2 is sent to the recipient for their state tax return
  • Copy C is retained by the payer for record keeping

The payer includes their name, address, and tax identification number, as well as the recipient’s name, address, and Social Security number.

The revised 1099-MISC form has different box numbers for reporting various types of payments—for instance, Rents in Box 1 and Royalties in Box 2. If applicable, you’ll also fill out Box 4: Federal Income Tax Withheld and Box 16: State Tax Withheld.

IRS Form 1099-MISC for 2022
IRS Form 1099-MISC for 2022.

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Other 1099 Forms

Here is a list of the specific 1099 forms and the purpose of each:

What is the 1099-MISC form used for?

Form 1099-MISC is used to report certain miscellaneous compensation including rent, royalties, prizes, and awards, healthcare payments, and payments to an attorney.

Do I have to report a 1099-MISC on my tax return?

You must report on your tax return income shown on any 1099-MISC that you receive. You do not have to file the form with your taxes, but you should keep it for your records. You can deduct any taxes withheld, including state and local taxes, on the appropriate return.

Who must file Form 1099-MISC?

You must complete and file Form 1099-MISC with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including sending a copy to the payee, payments of at least $10 in royalties or broker payments in lieu of dividends or tax-exempt interest to another person and at least $600 for certain rent paid, prizes, and awards, and other listed income payments as mandated by the IRS. You must send the form to the recipient by Feb. 1 and file it with the IRS by March 1 (March 31 if filing electronically).

The Bottom Line

Form 1099-MISC is used by business payers to report certain types of miscellaneous compensation, such as rents, prizes, and awards, healthcare payments, and payments to an attorney to the IRS and to the recipients of those payments. Recipients are required to report the payments as income on their tax returns.

In a change from previous years, beginning with the 2020 tax year, nonemployee compensation is reported on Form 1099-NEC, not Form 1099-MISC. The purpose of Form 1099-MISC is to track and account for listed payments as a business deduction for business payers and income for payees.

Article Sources
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  1. Internal Revenue Service. “About Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income.”

  2. Internal Revenue Service. “Instructions for Forms 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC (01/2022).”

  3. Internal Revenue Service. “Publication 17: Tax Guide 2021 for Individuals,” Page 126 (Page 128 of PDF).

  4. Internal Revenue Service. “Am I Required to File a Form 1099 or Other Information Return?

  5. Internal Revenue Service. “2022 Form 1099-MISC: Miscellaneous Information.”

  6. Internal Revenue Service. “2022 General Instructions for Certain Information Returns,” Pages 25–27.

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