What You Should Know About the 1099 NEC Tax Form

There is a new requirement for employers and firms who use small vendors. The IRS has reintroduced Form 1099 NEC, or nonemployee compensation, as a new way to report pay to self-employed professionals. 

Before 2020, the 1099-MISC Form had been used by firms who utilize contract workers and other nonemployees to let the IRS know what was paid out and provide evidence to cross-reference against what the recipients reported on their 1040s (individual tax filings).

Let’s look at why this Form is making a comeback and the difference to your organization.

History of 1099-NEC

The IRS retired the NEC Form back in 1982. The old form only had one box to fill out. This Form was used to report fees, commissions, and other nonemployee compensation. The remainder of the Form was for identification purposes.

In 1983 the 1099-MISC replaced the NEC Form. MISC stands for Miscellaneous income. The MISC expanded to include rent, royalties, attorney fees, and healthcare payments greater than $600. 

Non-employee compensation was recorded in Box 7 of the MISC Form. Clients were obligated to issue this to all payees paid $600 or more in a calendar year. 

Since 2020 this Form has been revitalized. Now the 1099-NEC Form replaces the entirety of Box 7. Box 7 of the current MISC Form is now only used to report direct sales of $5,000 or more. 

Reasons for the 38 Year Absence

The main reason the IRS is bringing the NEC Form back has to do with 2015 Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act or PATH Act. Prior to this act, taxpayers could file one Form, 1099-MISC. Non-employee compensation and other miscellaneous payments were reported by February 28th each year. 

After 2015, the PATH Act changed the reporting non-employee compensation deadline to January 31st each calendar year. 

Because of the date discrepancies, companies began separating non-employee compensations into two 1099 Forms. These different deadlines created a lot of confusion for businesses, taxpayers, and the IRS as well. 

The IRS decided to bring back Form 1099-NEC to report non-employee compensation to clear up the complication.

Who Uses Form 1099?

The IRS requires all businesses to report payments over $600 made to independent contractors or vendors as non-employment compensation. 

Examples of NEC include:

Keep in mind there are penalties for missing the January 31st filing deadline. 

Penalty details are below:

    • $50 if you file within 30 days
    • $100 if you file more than 30 days late but before August 1st
    • $260 if you file on or after August 1st

Bottom Line

Employers must use Form 1099-NEC for all non-employed individuals.

Contractors should be aware they will most likely be seeing this new form. 

The Form 1099-NEC filing date is quickly approaching. Therefore it is a good idea to make sure your 1099 recipients’ contact and business information are up to date as soon as possible.

You can request copies of official 1099 Forms from the IRS website, and you’ll receive them by mail. Both the 1099-NEC and the 1099-MISC can be filed either electronically or by mail.


FINSYNC’s online payroll service generates files and mails all 1099 Forms for each of your contractors at year-end. Let us help you simplify your cash flow management


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