Question
I received a Form 1099-MISC instead of a Form W-2. I'm not self-employed and don't have a business. How do I report this income?
Answer

If payment for services you provided is listed in box 7 of Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, the payer is treating you as a self-employed worker, also referred to as an independent contractor.

  • You don't necessarily have to have a business for payments for your services to be reported on Form 1099-MISC. You may simply perform services as a non-employee.
  • The payer has determined that an employer-employee relationship doesn't exist in your case.

If you weren't an employee of the payer, where you report the income depends on whether your activity is a trade or business. You're in a self-employed trade or business if your primary purpose is to make a profit and your activity is regular and continuous.

If you believe you may be an employee of the payer, see Publication 1779, Independent Contractor or Employee for an explanation of the difference between an independent contractor and an employee. For more information on employer-employee relationships, refer to Chapter 2 of Publication 15, (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide, Chapter 2 of Publication 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide, Independent Contractor (Self-Employed) or Employee? and Tax Topic 762, Independent Contractor vs. Employee.