You can always count on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to remind you every year -- with their myriad of IRS forms -- that tax day is right around the corner.
One of the forms you'll receive in your mailbox in February is the tax Form 1099-Misc. As we'll see later, it can have a huge impact on your tax life. Turning a blind eye to it can lead to severe consequences, so it should be among your biggest priorities when tax season comes knocking.
That said, as a tenant or landlord, you should be properly acquainted with some common IRS forms and schedules before filing your taxes. So before we delve into the nitty-gritty details of form 1099 for property managers and occupants, we'll first look at some of the most common and essential IRS forms.
Let's get started.
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Amongst the numerous IRS forms out there, there are some that are more significant and every taxpayer needs to be aware of them. These include:
The mother of all IRS forms, Form 1040 is the standard federal income tax form that people use to report their income, calculate the number of their tax bills or tax refunds for the year, and claim their tax deductions and credits.
Depending on whether or not you want to claim 1099 deductions and certain credits, some schedules may or may not be tacked onto that. These include:
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The W-2 is sent to employees by their employers and it shows, among other things, how much your employee paid you during the year, the amount of taxes withheld on your behalf, and how much you have contributed to the company’s retirement plan. A copy of this form is also sent to the IRS.
The W-2 has a companion form, the W-4 which you fill in to reduce your withholding in a situation such as when you get a huge refund from the previous year. Check out our article comparing a 1099 versus a W-2.
For all those late tax filers, this is the form to get you out of a fix. You must however file this form by the April deadline so that you may be granted an extension until October. You will have to send an estimate of what you owe to the IRS along with your request for extension.
You should be aware that if the estimated payment you send in is less than what you owe, you’ll need to pay interest on the difference. If you miss your extension date, the IRS will slap a 5% penalty fee on you for every month your returns are late.
The IRS requires businesses to issue a 1099 to all unincorporated entities for which it paid for services exceeding $600 in any given tax year. They'll receive a 1099 for rental income or payments that a company makes for their rental properties -- including office space, retail and commercial space -- are also included in this.
The payer must also be responsible to issue Form 1099-misc when they have paid $600 to an individual as well.
This is the tax form that reports the year-end summary of all non-employee compensation. The 1099 tax form comes in several forms, with the four most common ones being the 1099-DIV which reports dividends and distributions from investments, the 1099-INT which reports interest earned on investments, 1099-OID for when you buy a note or bond for less than face value, and 1099-MISC or 1099-NEC for any income that you do not acquire from investments.The form covers self-employment and independent contractor income, rent, royalties, crop insurance proceedings along with other several kinds of miscellaneous income.
The party who makes the payments is the one responsible for filling the form. The IRS has severe penalties for not filing 1099 forms.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses Form 1099 to capture miscellaneous income that might be forgotten when it comes to reporting and filing your yearly taxes.
A form 1099-MISC is not only for specific people. All kinds of people can get the form for various reasons as it is essentially a record of income.
You, as an individual, can receive a form 1099. This form will usually have your taxpayer identification number or your social security number on it. This means that the IRS will know that you have received the money. And, if you do not report the income on your tax return, the IRS will know too.
Independent contractors and freelancers, usually receive the 1099-Misc or the 1099-NEC from their clients. The money that has been paid to the contractor and freelancer by the client will be reflected on this form. Professional contractors who are listed as Limited Liability Corporations or LLCs are also regarded as 1099 vendors. This means that your business has to file 1099 forms for them.
1099 AirBNB hosts who runs a short-term rental business will also receive this tax form.
The current tax law defines receiving rental income as conducting the trade or business of renting out a property. This means that it is subject to Form 1099 reporting requirements. Tenants, landlords, and even property management companies, are often confused about when to send or receive IRS Form W-9 and whether to file IRS Form 1099. The help of a good accountant who is familiar with tax filing requirements comes in handy in such cases.
There is also the commonly used IRS Form W-9 which is a request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification. Sole proprietorship business owners and independent contractors will often have their clients request that you fill out and send a W-9. This is so that they are able to prepare your 1099-NEC form to report the payments they make to you. If you need more time to file your form, you can request a 1099 extension.
The property management business has particular scenarios that determine how or when to use the form 1099. Here are a few key guidelines to follow if you're the manager of property for business or trade, a lessor, or lessee :
Tenants in commercial leases and in residential leases where they are operating a trade or business from the property, and paying a landlord more than $600 annually should ask and get a W-9 from the landlord before paying them. You are required to file form 1099 if the W-9 shows that your landlord is not taxed as a corporation.
If you have a commercial tenant that pays you over $600 of rent annually, you are required to supply him/her with your Form W-9.For any rental income you receive from your tenant, you will be required to file a Form 1099.
The landlord should give their property manager a Form W-9 file. The property managers then proceed to file Form 1099 to report rent paid in excess of $600 during the tax year. Property managers are required to do the same for all contractors not taxed as corporations that were hired and paid more than $600 over the year.
You will have to file a Form 1099 for your property manager’s service fees, if you use one. These fees do not include reimbursed expenses. And although the property management company will be responsible for issuing 1099s to all contractors they have hired to maintain your property, you must also be keen to supply a form W-9 to your property manager.
Remember that the IRS requires both the W-9 and 1099 forms. However, there are a few exceptions to the rule, and they are:
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A Form W-9, when properly completed and signed, will typically indicate when the Form 1099 is required. This is to ensure that you have all the proper and necessary documents that you will need for your annual filing.
The Form 1099-NEC, the non-employee compensation form, must be mailed to recipients and filed with the IRS by January 31. Conversely, the Form 1099-MISC, which has reports of all other income, must be mailed to recipients and filed with the IRS by March 31. We recommend you use our organizer for tax receipts and maximize your real estate agent deductions.
Property managers, landlords, and owners with numerous properties must file a 1099 form and may have trouble with the filing process. With the help of a CPA familiar with tax filing requirements in the real estate rental industry, they can easily organize and streamline the process.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?