1099-MISC forms are supposed to be sent to recipients no later than January 31, but the true deadline is February 28 (even in a leap year). That is the deadline for mailing your 1099s to the IRS.
You have until March 31 if you submit 1099s electronically. Search the web and you will find many companies who will submit your 1099s electronically for a fee.
Read my main article on 1099 preparation to see how simple and inexpensive it can be to prepare 1099s. Pay attention to the pointers in this article if you are preparing the forms by hand in February.
Follow these steps to file 1099-MISC forms on paper by February 28. Time is of the essence.
First, get your hands on some forms
This may not be as simple as it sounds. 1099 forms cannot be downloaded like most tax forms, because they are red, scannable jobbers. You can order them for free from the IRS (they should take 7 to 14 days to come) or you can get right down to your local office supply store and buy them. I recommend you do BOTH. NOW! If you order immediately, the forms may come quickly enough to meet the February 28 deadline. Also, you may get down to the store and find their packages of 1099s are all bought out. There is a rush on these forms towards the end of January. If it's after February 15 already, you may need to go to more than one store to try and find the forms.
See my main article on 1099 preparation for specifics on the number and type of forms you will need.
Second, talk to your service providers
Call all of your service providers. Let them know that you will be sending them a 1099 and apologize for it being late. If possible, tell them how much income will be shown on the form. That way, the delay in receiving your form will not hold up their tax preparation.
If you don't have a service provider's tax id number, get that information over the phone. Get their full legal name and mailing address, too. If the worker refuses to cooperate, you should document this in your records. You should also send them a Form W-9, since that's the official way to request someone's tax id number. Document sending the W-9, too.
Third, prepare the forms and mail them no later than February 28.
See my main article on 1099 preparation for step by step instructions.
Last update: 23 January 2014