What businesses need to know about reporting nonemployee compensation and backup withholding to the IRS
When a business hires an independent contractor, the employer is generally not responsible for withholding income taxes, Social Security, or Medicare taxes from their compensation. However, by law, business taxpayers who pay nonemployee compensation of $600 or more must report these payments to the IRS. They do this using Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation.
Generally, payers must file Form 1099-NEC by January 31. There is no automatic 30-day extension to file Form 1099-NEC. However, an extension to file may be available under certain hardship conditions.
Nonemployee compensation reportable on Form 1099-NEC is subject to backup withholding if a payee has not provided a Taxpayer Identification Number to the payer or the IRS notifies the payer that the payee provided a TIN that does not match their name in IRS records.
A TIN can be one of the following numbers:
- Social Security
- Employer identification
- Individual taxpayer identification
- Adoption taxpayer identification
What is backup withholding?
Backup withholding can apply to most kinds of payments reported on Forms 1099 and W-2G. The person or business paying the taxpayer doesn’t generally withhold taxes from certain payments; however, there are situations when the payer is required to withhold a certain percentage of tax to make sure the IRS receives the tax due on this income. The payer’s requirement to withhold taxes from payments not otherwise subject to withholding is known as backup withholding. The current backup withholding tax rate is 24%.
Instructions for Forms 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC
General Instructions for Certain Information Returns
Publication 15, Employer’s Tax Guide, Circular E