What Is the Maximum Earnings Before Issuing a 1099?

by K.A. Francis ; Updated March 15, 2018

Receiving a 1099 form during tax time means you have one more thing to add to your tax return. If you receive unearned income from a source but do not get a Form 1099, does that mean you don't have to declare that income on your tax return?

The short answer is no. Just because you did not receive a 1099 form for the unearned income, you aren't off the hook. Most likely it means that the payer of the income wasn't required to send a 1099 form to you_._ However, the payer is required to report all payments to the IRS.

Why Send a Form 1099 to the IRS but Not the Payee?

Most Form 1099s require a certain minimum be met before the payer is required to send a payee a form. If you don't meet the minimum, you won't receive a Form 1099, but you still must report the unearned income on your tax return. There are several different types of 1099s:

  • Form 1099-A, Acquisition or Abandonment of Secured Property, records the acquisition or abandonment of property. There is no minimum income requirement.
  • Form 1099-B, Proceeds From Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions, is filed by brokers and barter exchanges for each client for whom they conducted investment transactions such as buying and selling stock, futures, commodities and other investment instruments. There is no minimum requirement.
  • Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt, records that a debtor canceled more than $600 of debt that was owed to the debtor. You receive a 1099-C for amounts that are $600 or greater.
  • Form 1099-CAP, Changes in Corporate Control and Capital Structure, is filed by corporations and sent to each shareholder when the company changes hands or undergoes some other significant change. A 1099 is sent out for a minimum of $100 million or more.
  • Form 1099-DIV, Dividends and Distributions, reports dividends or distributions that were paid to shareholders. The minimum is $10 for a regular dividend or $600 if it's a liquidation payment.
  • Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, reports government payments such as unemployment insurance, refunds of state and local taxes, or agricultural payments. The minimum amount to receive a 1099-G is $10.
  • Form 1099-H, Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) Advance Payments, details advanced healthcare payments received. There is no minimum amount for a 1099-H.
  • Form 1099-INT, Interest Income, reports interest income from investments. The minimum to receive a Form 1099 is $10 but for some business-related interest payments, the minimum is $600 or more.
  • Form 1099-K, Merchant Card and Third Party Network Payments, reports the income for those individuals or businesses that accept credit card payments, either through direct swipe to the card company or through third-party networks. The minimum is $20,000.
  • Form 1099-LTC, Long-Term Care and Accelerated Death Benefits, is filed by insurance companies and other governmental agencies to reflect long-term care or death benefits paid to individuals or beneficiaries. There is no minimum.
  • Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, reports payments to independent contractors as well as payments for rents, awards, prizes and royalties. To receive a Form 1099, taxpayers earn $600 or more in nonemployee compensation. For royalties and most other income sources, the minimum is $10.
  • Form 1099-OID, Original Issuance Discount, is filed by brokers for investors who received specific types of income. The minimum is $10.
  • Form 1099-PATR, Taxable Distributions Received From Cooperatives, is filed by cooperatives to reflect dividends and other disbursements paid to stakeholders. The minimum is $10.
  • Form 1099-Q, Payments From Qualified Education Programs, is used to reflect disbursements made from qualified tuition programs. There is no minimum amount.
  • Form 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc., reports retirement income from pensions, investment accounts and other types of retirement pay. The minimum is $10.
  • Form 1099-S, Proceeds from Real Estate Transactions, reports the sale or exchange of real estate. The minimum to receive a Form 1099 is $600.
  • Form 1099-SA, Distributions From an HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA, reports information about distributions from health saving accounts, medical savings accounts and Medicare savings accounts. There is no minimum amount.
  • Form RRB-1099, Railroad Retirement Board Statement, reports the amount of railroad retirement benefits paid to retired railroad workers. There is no minimum amount.
  • Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, reports the amount of Social Security benefits paid to beneficiaries. There is no minimum amount.

About the Author

K.A. Francis is a freelance writer with over 20 years experience, and a small business consultant and jewelry designer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and business administration and a Master of Arts in Adult Education. She has written for "The Einkwell," "Windsor Parent," MomsOnline, Writer's Stew, Lighthouse Venture Group and others. Her jewelry design company, KAF Creations, has been in operation since 1998.

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