Starting a company

Demystifying the IRS Form 1099-K: Who Needs It and Why?

Key takeaways

  • Learn how to use Form 1099-K to report income from third-party payment transactions.
  • Understand that Form 1099-K records third-party network and payment card transactions.
  • Learn that payment settlement entities, such as credit card companies and online payment processors, issue Form 1099-K.
  • Understand that if you received payments that exceeded a certain threshold and conducted a certain number of transactions, you may receive a Form 1099-K.
  • Learn about the reporting requirements and thresholds for Form 1099-K to guarantee compliance with tax rules.
  • Understand that Form 1099-K assists the IRS in tracking and verifying income generated by online platforms such as e-commerce or app-based services.

Form 1099-K is a tax form that reports income from third-party payment transactions. Payment settlement institutions, such as credit card companies and online payment processors, often provide it to people or businesses who accept payments via payment cards or third-party networks.

The Importance and Advantages of Filing Form 1099-K:

  • Compliance with Tax Regulations: Filing Form 1099-K ensures that you follow tax laws and accurately report your income.

  • Transparency and correctness: By completing Form 1099-K, you give the IRS a clear picture of your payment card and third-party network activities, which helps assure your tax return's correctness.

  • Form 1099-K assists the IRS in tracking revenue made through online platforms, e-commerce transactions, and app-based services, which are becoming increasingly common in today's digital economy.

  • Avoid Sanctions: Filing Form 1099-K correctly and on time helps you avoid penalties for non-compliance or underreporting income.

Consequences of Failure to File Form 1099-K:

  • Fines: Failure to submit Form 1099-K when required may result in IRS fines. Penalties vary according to the circumstances, but they can be severe.

  • Enhanced IRS Scrutiny: Failure to file Form 1099-K may raise red flags with the IRS, resulting in enhanced scrutiny of your tax return and the possibility of an audit or additional inquiry.

  • Incorrect Tax Reporting: Please file Form 1099-K to avoid erroneous tax reporting, as revenue from payment card and third-party network transactions will be excluded from your tax return. This might result in underreporting income and further fines and interest costs.

  • It's important to consult with a tax professional or refer to the IRS guidelines to ensure compliance with the specific requirements and thresholds for filing Form 1099-K in your particular situation.

Who needs to file form 1099k?

Payment settlement businesses, such as credit card companies and online payment processors, must file Form 1099-K. These organizations report the revenue of individuals or companies who receive payments via payment cards or third-party networks.

Form 1099-K applies to a variety of company arrangements, including but not limited to:

Business Structures-

  • Individual firms owned and run by a single person are sole proprietorships.
  • Partnerships are businesses that are owned and run by two or more people.
  • Limited Liability Companies (LLCs): Companies that give their owners limited liability protection.
  • Corporations that decide to transmit corporate income, losses, deductions, and credits to their shareholders for federal tax purposes are known as S Corporations.
  • C Corporations: Legal entities that are taxed independently of their owners.

Income Levels and Variables -

The following forms of income are reported on Form 1099-K:

  • Payment Card Transactions: Income earned from clients using payment cards such as credit or debit cards.
  • Third-Party Network Transactions: Income is received through third-party payment networks such as PayPal, Stripe, or Square.

Types of Businesses and Incomes not included:

It is crucial to remember that Form 1099-K does not apply to all businesses or income categories. The following are some instances of enterprises and revenue that are not usually included:

  • Cash Transactions: Income received in cash does not show on Form 1099-K.
  • Traditional Check Payments: Income received by paper checks is not reported on Form 1099-K.
  • Government Payments: Government payments, such as social security or welfare benefits, are not reported on Form 1099-K.
  • Employee Wages: Employee wages or salaries are recorded on Form W-2, not Form 1099-K.
  • Consult a tax professional or the IRS guidelines to identify the criteria and thresholds for submitting Form 1099-K based on your company structure, income categories, and other factors.

How do you file form 1099k?

Forms concept illustration

There are many things to remember while doing those above- 

  1. Obtain a copy of Form 1099-K from the IRS or a reputable source, such as tax software or an accounting agency.
  2. Collect the necessary information: Gather all required information to complete the form correctly. This contains your taxpayer identification number (such as your Social Security number or Employer Identification Number) and the details of the beneficiary (name, address, and taxpayer identification number).
  3. Fill in the following payer information: Fill in the appropriate fields on the form with your name, address, and taxpayer identification number. This data establishes you as the payment settlement entity.
  4. Complete the following recipient information: On the form, enter the recipient's name, address, and taxpayer identification number. Check that the data is correct and matches the recipient's records.
  5. Report payment card and third-party network transactions: In the form's designated boxes, enter the total gross amount of payment card and third-party network transactions. This should include the total amount of all payments made through these channels for the recipient.
  6. For accuracy check the form's information for accuracy and completeness. Check that the taxpayer identification numbers and the amounts stated are correct.
  7. Form 1099-K should be filed with the IRS once finished. Several filing options are available, including electronic filing (e-filing) using the IRS Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) system or mailing a physical copy. 
  8. Make copies for the recipients: Deliver copies of Form 1099-K to the appropriate beneficiaries (individuals or corporations) before the IRS deadline, usually January 31st of the year after the reporting year. Ensure to mail the addressee copies or offer electronic copies as needed.
  9. Keep copies for your reference: Keep copies of the submitted Form 1099-K and any supporting paperwork. These documents is advised to be kept for at least three years in case of future inquiries or audits.

Form 1099k instructions

You will require the following information, documentation, and details for completing Form 1099-K:

  • Payer Specifics: Name, address, and tax identification number (TIN). The TIN might be your SSN or an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  • Information about the Recipient: Name, address, and taxpayer identification number (TIN) of the recipient. The TIN might be an SSN, EIN, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), depending on the recipient's status.
  • Transactions using payment cards and third-party networks:

  • Total payment card transaction amount: For the calendar year, report the total payments received by the receiver via payment cards (credit or debit cards).

  •  Gross third-party network transaction volume: Report the total payments received by the receiver for the calendar year via third-party payment networks (such as PayPal, Stripe, or Square).
  • Documentation Support: Maintain records and documents that back up the amounts stated on Form 1099-K, such as transaction records, sales reports, or financial statements. These papers may be helpful in the event of inquiries or audits.
  • Copies for Recipients: Deliver Form 1099-K copies to the appropriate beneficiaries (individuals or corporations) by January 31st of the year after the reporting year. Give the receiver a copy of Form 1099-K in case they need it for tax reporting purposes.
  • Filing Procedure and Deadlines: Select your desired method of filing: Form 1099-K can be filed online using the IRS Filing Information Returns Online (FIRE) system or by mail.

  • Submit by the deadline: The deadline for submitting Form 1099-K with the IRS is usually the final day of February if you file on paper or March 31st if you file electronically. However, it is critical to double-check the current year's deadlines, as they may differ.

Filing deadlines

The following are the Form 1099-K filing deadlines:

  • Recipient Copies: You must give beneficiaries (individuals or corporations) copies of Form 1099-K by January 31st of the year after the reporting year. The recipient copies must be distributed by this date.
  • Filing a Return with the IRS: If you are filing on paper, the deadline for submitting Form 1099-K to the IRS is usually the last day of February after the reporting year. For example, if you report for the fiscal year 2022, the paper filing date is February 28th, 2023.
  • If you are submitting electronically, the deadline for electronic filing (e-filing) of Form 1099-K with the IRS is usually March 31st of the year after the reporting year. For example, the e-filing deadline for calendar year 2022 would be March 31st, 2023.

It is crucial to remember that these dates are subject to change. Thus, the most up-to-date information on filing deadlines should be obtained from the official IRS guidelines or website. Failure to fulfill the dates may result in penalties or late filing costs. Therefore, prompt compliance is critical.

1099k tax form: Tips for startups

Tax preparation concept illustration

  • Understand Thresholds: Understand the thresholds that necessitate the filing of Form 1099-K. Maintain a record of payment card and third-party network transactions to determine when you must begin reporting.

  • Keep Accurate Records: Maintain thorough records of transactions, sales reports, and financial statements. Accurate records can assist you in filling out Form 1099-K and reconciling stated amounts with your own.

  • Implement Accounting Software: Accounting software may expedite record-keeping and create reliable reports. Options like QuickBooks or Xero can assist in tracking the required information for Form 1099-K.

  • Seek specialist Help: Speak with a tax specialist specializing in startup taxation. They can walk you through the criteria and provide you with personalized guidance.

  • Payment Platform Integration: Integrate payment platforms with accounting systems

  • Be up-to-date: To be compliant, check IRS publications regularly and get current information.

  • Timely Filing and Distribution: Keep filing and distribution deadlines to avoid fines.

  • Appropriately Classify Transactions: Ensure that transactions are properly categorized as payment card or third-party network transactions to report them correctly on Form 1099-K.

  • Examine Payment Processors: If you use payment processors, look into their reporting practices to guarantee correct and timely submission.

  • Educate Recipients: To minimize misunderstanding, provide recipients with information on the purpose of Form 1099-K.

  • Address Inconsistencies: Resolve any differences between your records and the information reported on Form 1099-K as soon as possible.


Finally, for companies involved in payment card and third-party network transactions, submitting Form 1099-K is critical. This form assures IRS compliance, avoiding fines and potential audits. Startups maintain openness in financial reporting and create stakeholder confidence and credibility by appropriately reporting payment-related income. Timely filing and well-organized record-keeping aid in sound financial management and make tax preparation easier. Furthermore, submitting Form 1099-K assists businesses in avoiding legal concerns and brand harm connected with non-compliance. This form maintains a level playing field for all taxpayers by contributing to fair taxes. Understanding the significance of Form 1099-K and following the necessary processes enables entrepreneurs to lay a solid basis for their financial operations, avoid risks, and build a healthy business climate.

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