How To Report Your Freelance Salary Without A 1099 Form
Are you one of the 53 million Americans taking home a freelance salary? If you don't have a 1099 form to report a certain income there is no problem. Here is another way that you can do it! Read this article to learn how to report your freelance salary without using a 1099 form.
Also read: The Difference Between Forms 1009 and W2?
Why Don't I Have A 1099 Form?
First, let's examine why you might not have a 1099 form. The law requires that a 1099 form be provided to a freelancer by the company which is paying them. But this is only the case if the amount paid is more than $600. So if you did just a bit of work for a firm, and received less than $600 - you won't necessarily have a 1099 form for that job.
If they did give you one, then great. That makes figuring out taxes a bit easier for you, and you'll have paperwork to back up your figures. If they didn't, it's not a major issue.
Also read: Submitting a W2 Correction Request
What Should I Do If I Don't Have A 1099 Form?
If your client didn't give you a 1099 form, it's OK. Hopefully, you're already keeping a good record of your income. It's good practice to do this as you go. That way, you won't fall behind and have mountains of paperwork to do at once. Then you might want to hire an accountant to make sure everything is spot on.
The IRS can (and do) audit individuals to find out if everything is OK. And it can penalize you where it isn't. Remember, the deadline for paying income tax is April 15th each year. Don't leave it until March to start worrying about this! You can, however, ask the IRS for an extension until October 15th, which many people on a freelance salary take advantage of.
Also read: What is the Form W2?
What If I Later Receive A 1099 Form?
If you undertake work towards the end of the tax year, it's possible that your client sends you a 1099 form after the deadline. If you've already filed a tax return and there's a discrepancy in your working and the new 1099, you need to fill another form out. This is form 1040 X (form 1040 is your individual income tax return form). It's used to tell the IRS about changes to previously declared tax.
Why You Always Need To Report Your Freelance Salary
To be fair, the risk of being picked up by the IRS for a couple of hundred dollars you don't declare is probably quite low. However, by intention or on purpose, not reporting income is a serious incident. The IRS is likely to come down hard on you. You'll pay back not only any tax you didn't pay but also penalties on top. So make sure your taxes are dead on!
How Do I Keep On Top Of It All?
One of the best ways to make sure everything is accounted for is to encourage clients to send you a 1099 form, regardless of whether they're obliged to. You can send them to the 1099 form generator on this website to speed up the process for them. You can then just total up your forms at the end of the year. Which makes life much easier! Check out our blog for more advice on dealing with your pay. As a freelancer, it's also extremly important to print out your paystubs with the paystub creator online in case you need these documents in the future.