A 1099-MISC form is used to report all income made by a contractor, as long as it is $600 or more for one taxable year. The 1099-MISC form must be filled out by the employer or client who hired the contractor. One of the most important parts of the 1099-MISC form is the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), which makes it easy for the IRS to identify which contractor the form is for. Without the tax ID, the 1099-MISC can be harder to file, but it is not impossible.
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Request a W-9 Form be Filled Out
If you have not already done so, contact your contractor and officially ask them to fill out a W-9 form. A W-9 form will have all personal information including the TIN and Social Security Number of the contractor, which can be used to finish the 1099-MISC form. If you have already given the contractor a W-9 form to fill out, but have not received it back yet, record the dates and efforts you made in trying to solicit this information. The IRS is prepared for this situation so as long as your explanation for why the contractor has not given you a TIN is legitimate, you should not be penalized.
Use an SSN in Place of a TIN
If the contractor has not given you a TIN, but has provided you with their Social Security Number, this can be used in place of the TIN. Since the two numbers are similar, the IRS will have no problem identifying the contractor. The only drawback to this is that if the contractor has yet to turn in a W-9 form, neither number will be available for you to use. This is why it is so important to make copies of W-9 forms for each contractor for previous taxable years so that when it comes time to fill out the 1099-MISC forms for this year, you do not have to solicit the same information again.
File the Forms without a TIN
Since you will be subject to fines if you choose not to file the 1099-MISC form until all information has been received, it is better to report the forms anyway. Do this by logging all zeros where the tax ID should go. This will alert the IRS that the form is not fully completed and they will then contact you. Once they have contacted you looking for the tax ID number, you can explain how you tried to receive the information from the contractor and show the IRS the records you kept of your attempts. This will show them that it is not your fault and you will not be fined or penalized for your efforts. Doing this makes the process of tax filing a little more stressful, but it is probably your best bet if you are dealing with a contractor who is not willing to comply with you.
Keep your records and past forms for contractors organized by using an online filing site like wagefiling. Wagefiling will make it easier to fill out basic forms like the W-9 and 1099-MISC, and will send off documents to the IRS as soon as they are done so you are not fined for turning in forms late.