If you hired contractors to perform work for you, you will have to create a 1099-MISC form for each contractor that you paid $600 or more to over the course of the year. These forms have to be mailed out to your contractors before January 31st and filed with the IRS before February 28th (March 31st if you E-File). Traditionally, you have a choice of paying someone to create and file these 1099-MISC forms for you, or you could order blanks from the IRS and fill them out yourself — the first option is expensive and the second is inconvenient.
Fortunately, there is a third option made possible by Intuit. Intuit provides a 1099-MISC E-File Service that lets you create and print 1099-MISC for all your contractors and automatically file them to the IRS. Currently, they are running a promotion and the service will only cost you $25 before January 15th ($39 afterward). This is the option that I went with for my business.
Intuit’s 1099-MISC E-File Service Step-by-step Guide
The service is very easy to use. To give you an idea how it works, here’s a brief walk-through.
If you already have an account from last year, you can just log in and reuse all the previously entered data. Otherwise, you will have to sign up for a new account following the instruction below:
- Go to the sign up page and click the “Sign Up Now” button.
- Enter your email address, selection “No, I’m a new customer”, and click the “Sign In” button
- Enter your account information. This includes password, first name, last name, your business name, and phone number
- Agree to the Terms & Conditions, then proceed to the next step.
Enter Your Business Information
Next, you can choose to import QuickBooks for Windows data or enter your company data yourself. I went with the second option since I do not use QuickBooks. Information you need to enter includes:
- Business and contact information
- Your enter EIN or SSN
- Filing name
Enter 1099-MISC Information
Next, you enter all the 1099-MISC information. For each form, you will have to enter the following information:
- Select business or individual for each contractor
- If your contractor is a business, enter the business name and EIN
- If your contractor is an individual, enter the name and SSN
- Enter the recipient’s address
- Enter the amount paid in 2011. Intuit default this to Box 7, which is the most common and usually the only box you have to fill. If you need to enter more information, you can expand the field to show all boxes.
- Click the OK button
When you finish entering all the 1099-MISC forms, select Continue and enter your credit card information Once you approve the payment, you can print the 1099-MISC forms and send them your contractors. You can also print out another set for your record.
Since it is fairly simple to print these forms as a PDF file, I sent each of my contractor a PDF file to review prior to E-Filing. You can use free software like Primo PDF to break up the larger file you get from Intuit.
The final step in the process is send Copy A of Form 1099 to the IRS. This step is very simple. All you have to do is click on E-File and then Submit. The service will automatically send all the necessary information to the IRS. Here are a few important things to keep in mind.
- You can wait until a few days before March 31st to submit. This is a good idea because you can’t make any correction once you E-File through Intuit’s service (but you can continue to submit additional 1099s up until the IRS e-file deadline).
- You must check with your state tax agency about additional 1099-MISC requirements. The IRS will share your 1099 information with your state tax agency, but you may have additional state reporting requirements.
- If you E-File, you do not have to submit Form 1096 — it’s not required when you E-File.
Screen Shot of the Main Screen
Here are the important deadlines that you should be aware of:
|January 15, 2012
|Last day to E-File and get the early bird discount
|January 31, 2012
|IRS deadline for mailing printed copies to contractors
|February 28, 2012
|IRS deadline for filing paper 1099-MISC and 1096 forms (if you do not E-File)
|March 31, 2012 at 5 PM PT
|IRS deadline for E-Filing
Reveiwed and updated January 10, 2012 for 2011 tax year.
Pinyo Bhulipongsanon is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance and a Realtor® licensed in Virginia and Maryland. Over the past 20 years, Pinyo has enjoyed a diverse career as an investor, entrepreneur, business executive, educator, financial literacy author, and Realtor®.