1099-K form: Everything you need to know

Form 1099-K: Transactions from Payment Cards | Third-Party Networks

What is IRS Form 1099-K?

Form 1099-K (Payment Card /Third-Party Network Transactions) is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) document that reports credit/debit card transactions/third-party network payments.

For the 2023 tax year, the IRS initially planned to introduce changes to the 1099-K reporting requirements. However, the IRS has recently postponed implementing the $600 reporting threshold for goods/service transactions through third-party processors like Venmo and Paypal.ย 

As a result, the reporting threshold for the tax year 2023 returns to the previously higher limit for 1099-K (requiring over $20,000 in payments and more than 200 transactions). It's important to note that even if you do not receive a 1099-K, the IRS still expects you to report all your income, regardless of the amount.

There is no specified threshold for payment card transactions.

Suppose you are self-employed or working as an independent contractor. In that case, you typically report your income, including that from Form 1099-K, on Schedule C of your Form 1040, the individual income tax return.ย 

For businesses organised as pass-through entities such as multi-member LLCs, LLCs electing corporate treatment, S Corporations, or Partnerships, the relevant information needs to be reported on Form 1120, the 1120S, or 1065.

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What is the function of Form 1099-K?

The inception of IRS Form 1099-K dates back to the 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act, despite its lack of connection to housing matters. Created in 2012 for the 2011 tax year, its primary purpose is to ensure comprehensive income reporting for individuals and businesses.ย 

This form mandates credit card companies like MasterCard/Visa and third-party processors such as PayPal/Amazon to disclose the payment transactions they handle for businesses.ย 

Consequently, if you accept credit card or electronic payments, you may receive a 1099-K from each payment processor at the year's end, consolidating all your sales transactions.

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Who qualifies for a 1099-K?

Businesses and retailers that accept online credit card payments and other electronic transactions are typically eligible to receive a 1099-K if their annual processing activity aligns with the following criteria:

For years preceding 2024, receipt of payments through a third-party processor exceeding $20,000, along with more than 200 individual transactions.

During these same years, under specific circumstances, transactions surpassing $600 per year or any amount for payment card transactions (credit card swipes).

If these conditions are met, a copy of the 1099-K should be delivered by mail by January 31 of the subsequent year. The IRS will also be provided with copies of all issued 1099-K forms. If you believe you should have received a 1099-K but have not received it by the specified date, consider contacting the processor to confirm whether one has been prepared for you.ย 

It's important to note that even if the processor did not prepare a 1099-K, you must still report your income.

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What is the 1099-K threshold for 2023?

The American Rescue Plan Act proposed a significant reduction in the reporting threshold for third-party payment networks to issue a Form 1099-K to $600, eliminating the transaction quantity requirement.ย 

However, the implementation of these changes has been postponed.

The IRS initially intended to modify the 1099-K reporting requirement for the 2023 tax year. Nevertheless, the IRS recently deferred the execution of the new $600 reporting threshold for transactions involving goods and services through third-party processors like Venmo and Paypal.ย 

Consequently, the 2023 tax year reverts to the previous higher 1099-K reporting threshold (requiring over $20,000 in payments and more than 200 transactions). Even if you do not receive a 1099-K, the IRS expects you to report all your income, irrespective of the amount.

If your gross payments for the year exceed the threshold, you should anticipate receiving Form 1099-K by January 31, 2024, for the 2023 tax year.

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What is the 1099-K threshold before 2023?

Before the year 2024, you can expect to receive Form 1099-K if you received payments from:

  1. Payment card transactions (e.g., debit, credit, gift, or prepaid cards) and
  2. Payment settlements for third-party payment network transactions on platforms such as Venmo, gig-worker platforms like Uber/Lyft, or online marketplaces like eBay or Etsy, provided the payments exceeded the following thresholds:
    a. Gross payments surpassing $20,000, and
    b. More than 200 transactions.

Advantages of Form 1099-K

While its primary function serves as a reporting tool for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Form 1099-K offers several benefits for taxpayers and businesses.ย 

Here are some key advantages:

Accurate Income Reporting

Form 1099-K assists taxpayers in precisely reporting income received through payment settlement entities. Presenting a transaction summary ensures proper income reporting, minimizing the risk of underreporting or omitting income from tax returns.

Tax Compliance Promotion

The form encourages tax compliance by prompting individuals and businesses to report their income accurately. It is a reminder that income processed through payment processors is subject to taxation, aiding taxpayers in fulfilling their tax obligations.

Simplified Record-Keeping

The form facilitates streamlined income tracking for taxpayers by providing a consolidated overview of transactions conducted via payment settlement entities. It simplifies record-keeping and serves as a reference during the preparation of tax returns.

Verification for Deductions

For businesses, Form 1099-K proves beneficial when claiming deductions related to business expenses. By aligning the income reported on Form 1099-K with corresponding costs, companies can ensure they have the necessary documentation to support their deductions.

Increased Transparency

Form 1099-K enhances transparency in financial transactions by capturing the movement of funds through payment settlement entities. This transparency aids financial analysis and auditing, helping identify discrepancies or potential fraudulent activities.

Penalty Avoidance

Proper and timely filing of Form 1099-K assists taxpayers in avoiding potential penalties from the IRS. Failure to adhere to filing requirements can lead to cumulative penalties, underscoring the importance of compliance with reporting obligations.

Note: Beware of accepting non-taxable payments via card or payment network. Some things to keep in mind:

  1. Purposeful Usage: If you use a credit or debit card reader or third-party apps like PayPal for your business, avoid using them for non-business purposes.
  2. Inclusion in 1099-K: Non-business payments may be combined with your other business receipts on Form 1099-K unless the payment processor can segregate business and personal transactions.
  3. Differentiation Challenge: For shared costs with family, roommates, or non-business acquaintances, using your business payment card reader may hinder distinguishing business from non-business payments.
  4. Non-Taxable Nature: Payments received for splitting costs with others are often considered non-taxable income.
  5. Reporting Exception: These non-taxable payments should not be reported as income on your tax return.

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Comparison of 1099-K, 1099-NEC, and 1099-MISC

Differential Reporting

While 1099-K, 1099-NEC, and 1099-MISC may appear similar, they serve distinct purposes and report different information.

1099-K for Payment Processing

Credit card lenders, third-party payment processors, and online platforms processing payments send 1099-K forms to report payments processed for merchants during the tax year.

Historical Usage of 1099-MISC

Before the introduction of 1099-K, businesses issued 1099-MISC forms to suppliers paid $600 or more annually. Transactions through credit cards or third-party processors might be reported on 1099-K and 1099-MISC.

IRS Directive on Double Reporting

The IRS instructs that payments reported on 1099-K and 1099-MISC should be reported on 1099-K only. Issuing a separate 1099-MISC is unnecessary, although some companies still need to.

Avoiding Double Taxation

To prevent double taxation, maintain detailed sales records, deduct payments reported on both 1099-K and 1099-MISC from 1099-K before reporting on your tax return, and be prepared to explain these deductions to the IRS.

1099-MISC for Trade or Business Payments

1099-MISC reports payments made to others during a trade or business. Previously used for non-employee compensation, the IRS reintroduced 1099-NEC for reporting when another business pays an independent contractor, self-employed worker, or gig-economy worker $600 or more in a tax year.

Exclusivity of 1099-NEC Reporting

Payments falling under 1099-NEC reporting requirements typically won't be included on 1099-K or 1099-MISC.

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How do I report 1099-K forms on my tax return?

To report 1099-K forms on your tax return, follow these steps. When you receive a Form 1099-K, it typically consolidates the gross amount of all reportable payment transactions facilitated by a payment processor. Each payment processor or third-party settlement entity will issue a separate 1099-K if you meet the reporting threshold for the year.

The gross amount disclosed on your 1099-K usually does not factor in adjustments for credits, cash equivalents, discounts, fees, refunds, or other amounts. Even if you don't receive a 1099-K because you didn't surpass the minimum reporting threshold or for any other reason, it's crucial to report all payments received. This accurately reflects the actual earnings in your trade or business.

Include all forms of income, such as cash, checks, tips, discounts, or goods/services received instead of payment, unless explicitly excluded. Once you've compiled all your business income, including that reported on Form 1099-K, use this information on the relevant tax forms:

  • For corporations or partnerships, utilise Forms 1120, 1120S, or 1065.
  • If your business operates as a sole proprietor, use Form 1040 with Schedule C.
  • If your business involves farming, use Schedule F.

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How to Rectify Errors on a 1099-K?

You might receive a Form 1099-K that is either not associated with you or contains inaccuracies in the reported total gross payment amount. Common errors may arise in the following situations:

  1. When you report business income on Form 1120S, 1120, or 1065, the Form 1099-K is issued in your name and Social Security Number.
  2. If you share your CC terminal with another individual or business.
  3. In the event of buying or selling your business during the year.
  4. When there's a change in your business entity structure throughout the year.
  5. If your merchant category code (MCC) does not accurately describe your business.

If discrepancies exist, consider contacting the payment settlement entity (PSE) that issued the form.

You can find the PSE's name and telephone number at the bottom left of your form, below their address information. If this information needs to be corrected, request that the PSE issue a corrected Form 1099-K.

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Guide to Completing Form 1099-K: A Step-by-Step Process

Completing Form 1099-K is a straightforward task when you follow these step-by-step instructions:

Step 1: Gather Required Information

Collect all necessary information to complete Form 1099-K. This includes personal details like your name, address, and taxpayer identification number (TIN). Additionally, gather recipient information, such as their name, address, and TIN. Make sure also to compile transaction details relevant to the form.

Step 2: Obtain Form 1099-K

Acquire a copy of Form 1099-K from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website or your tax software. A physical set of copies can be requested by contacting the IRS or visiting a local IRS office.

Step 3: Complete Payer Information

In Box 1a, input your TIN (Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number) as the payer. Enter your name, address, and other necessary information in the corresponding boxes.

Step 3: Complete Payer Information

Step 4: Complete Recipient Information

In Box 1b, input the recipient's TIN. If you lack their TIN, consider requesting it through Form W-9. Fill in the recipient's name, address, and other essential details in the designated boxes.

Step 4: Complete Recipient Information

Step 5: Complete Payment Card Transactions

In Box 1a, document the total amount of payment card transactions for the recipient. This encompasses the aggregate dollar value of all transactions conducted through payment cards, such as credit cards debit cards, and third-party payment processors like PayPal or Stripe.

Step 5: Complete Payment Card Transactions

Step 6: Complete Third-Party Network Transactions

In Box 1b, record the total amount of third-party network transactions for the recipient. This encompasses the overall dollar value of transactions facilitated by third-party payment networks such as Airbnb or Uber.

Step 6: Complete Third-Party Network Transactions

Step 7: Fill in Additional Boxes as Needed

Tailor your completion of Form 1099-K based on specific circumstances. If refunds or returns are linked to payment card or third-party network transactions, ensure their accurate reporting in Box 5.

Step 7: Fill in Additional Boxes as Needed

Step 8: Review and Validate Information

Thoroughly examine all entered information on the form to ensure accuracy. Confirm the correctness of TINs, names, and addresses, as errors may result in processing issues or delays.

Step 9: File and Distribute Form 1099-K

Submit Form 1099-K to the IRS by the designated deadline. If reporting over 250 transactions, electronic filing is mandatory. Additionally, furnish the recipient a copy of the form by January 31 of the subsequent tax year.

Step 10: Maintain Records

Retain a copy of the completed Form 1099-K and any other documentation for your records. It's crucial to keep this information for at least three years.

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Special Considerations for Filing Form 1099-K

When tackling Form 1099-K, several unique considerations warrant attention. Here are vital points to bear in mind:

Determine Filing Obligation: File Form 1099-K if you operate as a payment settlement entity (PSE) processing payments for participating payees. A PSE facilitates fund transfers between payers and payees. Report transactions made by your payees if you meet the filing threshold.

Understand Reporting Thresholds: Form 1099-K has relatively high filing thresholds. File if you exceed 200 transactions and the total gross payments surpass $20,000 in the calendar year.

Collect Accurate Payee Information: Gather precise details from payees, including legal names, addresses, and taxpayer identification numbers (TINs). Obtain a completed Form W-9 from payees containing their TIN and tax status certification.

Review Records: Ensure accurate and updated records. Track payment card and third-party network transactions for payees, covering total gross payments and any adjustments or refunds.

Use Correct Form Version: Employ the latest version of Form 1099-K from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).ย 

File and Furnish Timely: Submit Form 1099-K to the IRS by January 31 of the subsequent year. Furnish copies to payees by the same date to avoid penalties.

Maintain Backup Documentation: Retain copies of filed Forms 1099-K and supporting documentation for at least three years from the tax return's due date. This includes transaction records, payee agreements, and other relevant documents.

Consider Professional Assistance: Seek guidance from a tax professional or accountant, especially for intricate reporting situations. They can navigate you through compliance, address specific business considerations, and ensure accurate filing.

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Filing Deadlines and extensions for Form 1099-K

Filing Deadline: File Form 1099-K by January 31 of the year following the calendar year in which the transactions occurred. For instance, if reporting transactions for 2023, the deadline is January 31, 2024. This deadline applies to both paper/electronic filings.

Recipient Copy: Furnish a copy of Form 1099-K to the recipient (taxpayer) by January 31 if you are the payment settlement entity.

Extension of Time: Should you require more time, request an extension for filing Form 1099-K. Remember that the extension pertains only to filing with the IRS, not the copy provided to the recipient. To request an extension, submit Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns, before the original filing deadline (January 31).

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Avoiding Common Mistakes When Filing Form 1099-K

Incorrect/Missing Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN): Ensure accuracy in the recipient's TIN, whether it's an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or a Social Security Number (SSN). Failure to provide the correct TIN may result in penalties.

Failure to Report Required Transactions: Report all transactions meeting the specified thresholds. For Form 1099-K, include payment card and third-party network transactions exceeding 200 transactions and $20,000 in gross payments during the calendar year.

Including Non-Reportable Transactions: Exclude non-reportable transactions like cash advances, reimbursements, and refunds from your filing.

Mismatched Amounts: Verify that the reported amounts on Form 1099-K align with those provided by the payment settlement entity. Ensure accuracy in reflecting adjustments, fees, and refunds.

Late or Missing Filing: Adhere to specific deadlines for filing with both the recipient and the IRS to avoid penalties.

Failure to Keep Accurate Records: Maintain detailed records of reported transactions, encompassing gross payment amounts, dates, and any adjustments.

Neglecting to Reconcile Discrepancies: Reconcile any disparities between reported amounts on Form 1099-K and your records before filing.

Not Seeking Professional Guidance: If uncertainty arises or complexities exist, consider seeking professional assistance from a tax advisor or accountant. Their guidance can address your unique circumstances effectively.

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Conclusion

In tax reporting, Form 1099-K is crucial for individuals and businesses engaged in payment card and third-party network transactions. By grasping the thresholds, responsibilities, and ramifications tied to this form, you pave the way for compliance with IRS regulations, ensuring accurate income reporting.

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