(415) 418-0020 info@proteafinancial.com
What Are 1099s?

What Are 1099s?

If you do any type of contract or freelance work for a company, that company may be required to send you a form 1099. This is a tax form required by the IRS to report income for those who are not employees but still do work for and are paid by a company. However, while contractors often receive 1099s, they are not the only people who may get this document. Let’s go over the various types of 1099s, what one contains, why you may get it, and what you do with this document.

 

What Is a 1099?

Any time you are paid for work by a company, that company is required to report your payments to the IRS as income. Typically, this is done through a form W-2 because most, if not all, of the company’s payments go to employees. However, some companies do hire contractors or freelancers. These individuals work on specific projects for a set amount of pay. They typically receive no benefits such as insurance or paid time off. However, they are often free to work at home and on their own schedule. Once the project is complete, they receive their payment and move on to their next job, though they and the company may also agree to a new contract for further work.

When a company pays one of these contractors, the income is reported on a 1099. It’s similar to a W-2, but there are a few significant differences. The size of the company, their industry, or the type of project does not play any part in a 1099. All companies, even small businesses, must issue 1099s to a contractor who did work for them. 

However, according to IRS rules, a company only has to issue a 1099 if they pay a contractor more than $600 within the calendar year. This means a company that paid a contractor $500 is not required to send them a 1099. Contractors who receive one of these forms do need to include that income in their annual tax return just as they would report income earned on a W-2.

In addition to receiving a 1099 for contract work, you may also receive a 1099 for capital gains distributions, interest payments, dividends, and other income. The type of income will determine the type of 1099 form that you receive. There are a number of types of 1099s, including the 1099-MISC, 1099-R, and 1099-C.

 

What Information Is on a 1099?

A 1099 includes much of the same information as you would find on a W-2. This includes the following:

  • The contractor’s full name, address, and social security number or taxpayer identification number.
  • The company’s name, address, and FEIN (or SSN if they are paying as an individual).
  • The total amount of money paid throughout the year.
  • The account number.
  • The total amount of federal and state income tax withheld, if any (typically this is zero for a 1099).
  • The state or payer’s state number.
  • The amount of state income.

As with W-2s, the company will fill out the 1099 and mail a copy to both the contractor and the IRS. The contractor will need to review the information and contact the company right away if there are any mistakes.

 

Protea Financial 1099 Form

Why Are 1099s Issued?

Any contractor or individual who receives over $600 a year from a business, financial institution, or other payer will be issued at 1099. The IRS requires this income to be reported, and there are no exceptions. A company or other payer who fails to submit a 1099 form will face fines from the IRS. Individuals who do not report this income may be subjected to audits and fines as well.

Individuals who own stocks, receive interest on accounts, or are paid other types of income that is not classified as a wage will also receive a 1099 if they made more than $600. Typically, these forms will come from the payer. However, starting in 2021, some online payment processors such as PayPal may issue a 1099 to those who receive over $600 from the same payer. There are still many questions about how this will affect contractors, businesses, and others who receive payments through these processors.

 

How a 1099 Differs from a W-2

The main difference between a W-2 and a 1099 is that a W-2 lists out the various taxes, social security, and other withholdings from an employee’s paycheck. While a contractor may have taxes withheld on a 1099, typically this is not that case. That means the contractor or other individual will need to pay taxes on that money as part of their annual income tax return.

The two forms are similar in that both W-2s and 1099s are generated and sent out in January. Contractors, individuals, and employees should receive these forms by February first. If they do not, they will need to contact the payer. Contractors may receive 1099s from every company they have worked with over the year, while individuals may receive 1099s from every financial institution that paid them interest or dividends.

It’s also possible for someone to be an employee and do contract work. In this case, they will have both a W-2 and at least one 1099 to file.

 

How Do the Types of 1099s Differ?

There are many different 1099 forms. All of these forms are used to report income other than wages earned as an employee. However, each one is slightly different in what income it is used to report. Here are some of the most common types of 1099s:

  • MISC – The 1099-MISC was the form used to report payments made to contractors and other freelancers. However, the form was also used to report other payments, including prize money, payments made to attorneys, rent, and other miscellaneous income. It is no longer used for contractors as of 2021.
  • NEC – The 1099-NEC replaced the 1099-MISC for contractor payments starting with tax year 2021. It lists all non-employee income received in exchanged for services. This is the form that contractors and other freelancers will typically receive. Contractor payments were split out from the 1099-MISC to address certain loopholes.
  • DIV – Individuals who own stock or other types of securities and are paid more than $10 in dividends or distributions will receive a 1099-DIV to report that income to the IRS.
  • INT – The 1099-INT is issued by banks and other financial institutions. It reports interest of over $10.
  • R – Those who receive distributions from a retirement account such as a 401(k) or a Roth IRA will receive a 1099-R stating the total amount of the distributions taken that year.
  • C – This is a special type of 1099 that is only used when an individual settles debt with a credit issuer for less than the amount owed. Typically, this is done during the bankruptcy process, although it could also be done via other types of negotiations. This form shows the amount of forgiven debt, which is not typically taxed as income. However, it still must be reported.
  • Q – A 1099-Q is used to document income received from a 529 educational plan or Coverdell ESA. This form is
  • G – The 1099-G form is used to report several different types of payments. It’s commonly used to report unemployment compensation, but it can also be used to document income tax refunds from the state or local government as well as agricultural payments and income from taxable grants.
  • SSA-1099 – Those who receive social security payments will receive a SSA-1099 form every year detailing the total amount of SSA payments they received that year. This is one of the few 1099 forms in which the identifying letters come before the form number.
  • K – A 1099-K is issued by a third-party payment processor such as PayPal when an individual or business has more than 200 online payment transactions that total over $20,000. Credit card payment processors may also issue 1099-K forms.
  • B – Individuals who sell stock will receive a 1099-B from their mutual fund company or brokerage. This form details the date the stock was sold, the cost of it, and the amount it was sold for.

Protea Financial Understanding a 1099 Form 

As a Business, You Need to Have Your 1099 Forms Prepared Correctly

It goes without saying that any business that issues 1099s must make certain that the forms are prepared correctly and are issued on time. Being late can result in fines, while sending out incorrect forms can cost you time and money in correcting and resubmitting them. Fortunately, most businesses will only need to deal with one or two types of 1099s.

While a 1099 is a fairly simple form to fill out, you will still need a professional bookkeeper on your side to make certain you submit the correct payment amount to the right contractor or other individual. If you don’t have a bookkeeper of your own, you may want to work with a virtual bookkeeper. These experts are just as skilled and knowledgeable as local bookkeepers.

The team here at Protea Financial is ready to assist you with all of your bookkeeping and other financial needs. We can track contractor payments, assist with 1099s, and much more. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you.

Let Us Know if You Have Questions

If you still want help understanding a 1099 or what it is used for, then reach out to us here at Protea Financial. We are here to help!

Advantages of a Virtual Bookkeeper Over a Physical Bookkeeper

Advantages of a Virtual Bookkeeper Over a Physical Bookkeeper

If you recognize that your business has reached the point of needing a bookkeeper, you have two options: you can hire a local bookkeeper you can meet with in person, or you can hire a virtual bookkeeper. While outsourcing your bookkeeping to a virtual contractor is a fairly new concept, there are a number of benefits to doing so.

 

What is a Virtual Bookkeeper?

Before looking at the advantages a virtual bookkeeper offers, it is important to fully understand what one of these professionals is and what they do. There is no difference in skills or education between a virtual bookkeeper and one you meet with in person. They are full bookkeepers who have the education, knowledge, and training to do the job. They are experts in their field.

Virtual bookkeepers provide all of the same services that an in-person bookkeeper does. In fact, you may be able to find a virtual bookkeeper who is able to provide specialized services related to your specific industry. It may not be as easy to find such services in your local bookkeeper options.

The biggest difference between virtual and physical bookkeepers comes in their location and in how you communicate with them. Virtual bookkeepers can be anywhere around the country. You may, in fact, even find a great virtual bookkeeper who lives outside the U.S. As long as they are familiar with U.S. tax laws and other financial regulations, it truly does not matter where they live. Some virtual bookkeepers may even frequently travel between locations.

These travels will not impact a virtual bookkeeper’s ability to work or communicate with their clients. Instead of meeting at an office, you will communicate with your virtual bookkeeper over the phone, through email, or via online meeting. This may actually not be that different with how you would communicate with a physical bookkeeper. Most of your communication with them may be over the phone or email anyway—you may rarely visit their office. In that case, there is truly no difference between a virtual and a physical bookkeeper.

 

Protea Financial Virtual Bookkeeping

Why Work with a Virtual Bookkeeper?

If you are communicating with your bookkeeper primarily over the phone or email, why not look at the advantages of a full virtual bookkeeper? You may find that these advantages positively impact your budget, the work you receive from your bookkeeper, and your company’s future. Here are just a few of the things virtual bookkeeping has over traditional, in-person bookkeeping.

Finding a virtual bookkeeper is quite easy, too. All you have to do is go online and search for one. However, you will want to carefully check reviews before selecting one. You do not want to work with a bookkeeper who is less than reputable. You should also do some research into the company to determine if they have worked with businesses similar to yours and what kind of social media reputation they have. You can also use social media to ask for recommendations.

 

You Only Pay for the Work You Need

Most virtual bookkeepers offer a pay-as-you-go option. This flexibility means you only pay for the services or work you need done. You do not pay any retaining cost, nor do you have to pay any of the costs associated with hiring your own internal bookkeeper. With an employee, you would pay their salary, benefits, vacation pay, and other direct expenses as well as provide them with office space, equipment, and other tools. All of this can add up very quickly.

With a virtual bookkeeper, you only pay the agreed-upon service costs. You can add or remove services or dedicated hours of work as needed, allowing you to adjust your cost as you go. You may need your virtual bookkeeper more during certain parts of the year or during specific projects. For example, you may initially want a virtual bookkeeper to handle your accounts payable and receivable. Later, however, you determine you could also use their help in tracking orders and inventory. Simply contact your virtual bookkeeper and add these services.

 

Cloud Software and Sharing Makes it Easy for Your Virtual Bookkeeper to Access Information

One thing that may seem to work in favor of physical bookkeepers is that you can meet with them and bring them your physical receipts and other paperwork. However, take a look at your invoices and other paperwork. How much of it are you actually getting in a physical form? More and more vendors are cutting back on providing customers with paper receipts. Instead, they are emailing the paperwork or making it available via an online customer portal. You can download and print this paperwork if you want, but you do not need to.

With a virtual bookkeeper, you simply email these virtual receipts to them or copy them over onto a shared drive such as Dropbox, Google Docs, or Microsoft OneDrive. You can even give your virtual bookkeeper access to your online accounts so they can get these documents straight from the source.

By sharing these documents as you receive them, your bookkeeper is always up to date. This saves them a lot of time, especially around tax season. You do not need to take anything to them. If you do have physical receipts, you can snap photos or scan them. You may not even need to do that if you enter your transactions into a shared accounting program. By using the cloud, you can always access your financial reports, while your bookkeeper can always access your latest financial documents.

 

Protea Financial Virtual Bookkeeping Services

You Can Find the Right Bookkeeper for You

If you only want to work with a local bookkeeper, you may find yourself fairly limited on options. This is especially true if you are in a niche industry. For example, how many local bookkeepers fully understand the winery business? You may not find many that do.

With a virtual bookkeeper, though, you have hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of bookkeepers to select from. You can find the bookkeeper that understands your industry and that is a good fit with you personally. Having a good working relationship with your bookkeeper is just as important as finding one who understands your needs. You need to find someone who knows your niche, is able to provide information in a way you find helpful, and is available to answer your questions. A local bookkeeper may be able to meet these needs in a limited way. By taking your time to find the best virtual bookkeeper, however, you can find a professional who fully provides the services you need.

 

Virtual Bookkeepers Are Flexible

A physical bookkeeper likely has very set hours. If you call or email them outside of their work hours, they may not respond. However, virtual bookkeepers are more likely to offer flexible scheduling. This is because they understand that they are not going to be in the same time zone as all of their clients. They will need to be available to you during your workday. Many are also available outside of your standard business hours or on the weekends. They are often able to work with you to find the best time to meet, even if it is outside of regular working hours.

Virtual bookkeepers are also flexible in the services they offer. You can scale up or down your services as needed. This helps ensure that you protect your budget when needed but that you can also get the level of bookkeeping you may require at certain times of the year.

 

You Can Focus on Your Business

Finally, by outsourcing your bookkeeping to a virtual professional, you can focus on your business. Even if you only spend a few hours on your bookkeeping every week, that is time you could be spending on your company strategy. Only you can lead your business forward, but virtual bookkeepers can handle your finances for you. Why not take advantage of their expertise? 

In addition to freeing you up to grow your business, you may find that the cost of a virtual bookkeeper is much less than you expected. This is because these experts do not need the same amount of time as you do. They have professional accounting software and other tools, in addition to their training, that makes it much easier for them to get the work done.

Having a professional advise you financially also helps you make better business decisions. You will know where you stand profit-wise, your exact expenses, and much more. With this information, you can make informed decisions regarding products, pricing, vendors, and every other aspect of your company.

 

Protea Financial Brings the Benefits of a Virtual Bookkeeper to You

Ready to explore what a virtual bookkeeper could do for your winery? Protea Financial has a team of experienced bookkeepers who understand the industry and have the skills needed to assist you in all of your bookkeeping needs. You don’t need to spend all of your time doing the books when we can provide that service and much more.

Contact Protea Financial today to discuss your bookkeeping needs and how we can help you.