Contractor filing can sometimes be difficult to understand because there are certain requirements that each contractor and employer must follow in order to make sure the forms are completed. Understanding the process is the first step to making sure you complete the forms correctly.

Who Needs to File

Companies that have hired independent contractors in the last year must file a 1099-misc form for each contractor in the upcoming taxable year. 1099-misc forms must be filed for any contractor that made $600 or more in the past year and works independently. Before the 1099-misc forms can be reported, each contractor must fill out a W-9 form, which includes their Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), as well as other personal information. Any contractors that are a part of a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), or a limited liability partnership (LLP) do not have to report as an independent contractor.

Forms Needed for Independent Contractors

The first form every independent contractor needs to fill out is a W-9. As stated above, the W-9 form includes personal information such as a TIN, Social Security Number, and the contractor’s full name. This form is important because it will be instrumental in making sure that the 1099-misc form is filled out properly. The W-9 forms must be turned into the employer so that they can begin contractor filing. Once the W-9 forms have been filled out and turned in, the employer must fill out a 1099-misc form.

The purpose of this form is to record all payments that have been made to each independent contractor in the most recent taxable year. The reason each contractor needed to fill out a W-9 form first is so that the employer has all the correct personal information needed to finish the 1099-misc form. Once these forms have been filled out, they can be sent to the IRS for that taxable year. Copies of the 1099-misc and W-9 forms should also be made so that employers can keep them on file in case a problem arises.

How to File

Contractor filing is done more easily through an electronic filing website such as Wage Filing. By doing your reporting online, you are saving paper, as well as getting the forms filled out more quickly. Sites like wagefiling let you upload previous information each year so that when it is time to file your taxes online, part of your forms are already done. Filing online is also a better idea than filing on paper because you are more likely to keep your forms organized and easily accessible online.

Things to Remember

An independent contractor is responsible for paying their own income taxes because they do not work for a corporation or limited liability company. If the IRS sees that a contractor has not paid their federal taxes for the most recent year, the contractor’s employer is responsible for paying these taxes. Because independent contractors are usually only hired for a set amount of time, it is important for the employer to keep track of all forms and contractors they have hired. This applies to contractors, too who act as employer to other contractors.

Once you understand the process of filing, you can get started online. Wagefiling can help you get started with easy to use tutorials and forms that can be filled out on the website instead of downloading software.