Form 1099-MISC & Independent Contractors
Question: What is the difference between a Form W-2 and a Form 1099-MISC?
Although both of these forms are called information returns, they serve different functions.
Employers use Form W-2 (.pdf), Wage and Tax Statement, to:
- Report wages, tips and other compensation paid to an employee.
- Report the employee's income and Social Security taxes withheld and other information.
- Report wage and withholding information to the employee and the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration shares the information with the Internal Revenue Service.
Payers use Form 1099-MISC (.pdf), Miscellaneous Income, to:
- Report payments made in the course of a trade or business to a person who is not an employee or to an unincorporated business.
- Report payments of $10 or more in gross royalties or $600 or more in rents or compensation. Report payment information to the IRS and the person or business that received the payment.
- Tax Topic 752, Form W-2 - Where, When, and How to File
- General Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3 (.pdf)
- Instructions for Form 1099-MISC (.pdf), Miscellaneous Income
Category: Small Business, Self-Employed, Other Business
Subcategory: Form 1099-MISC & Independent Contractors