Do You Need to Attach 1099 Forms to a Federal Tax Return?

by Tara Thomas ; Updated March 15, 2018
Only attach a 1099 form that shows federal withholding.

A dizzying number of different types of 1099 forms can come across your desk at the start of tax season. Income from interest is reported on a 1099-INT; there's a 1099-DIV for dividends; pensions and retirement account payouts are reported on 1099-R; and real estate transactions are reported on yet another form, the 1099-S. And these barely scratch the surface of all the types of 1099s you could receive. While the list of different ways the IRS keeps track of your income is rather extensive, it seems to be the Form 1099-MISC Miscellaneous Income that taxpayers inquire about most often.

What Is Form 1099-MISC?

Form 1099-MISC is received by self-employed business owners, independent contractors and freelance workers. It reports payments received from specific payers. It is similar to a W-2, which is received by employees and details their wages earned for the year, however, the 1099-MISC does not reflect taxes withheld because independent contractors are responsible for paying taxes on their own.

You should receive a Form 1099-MISC from all payers for any services you provided that were in excess of $600 for the year., but this does not always happen. For example, if you were paid $450 for doing contract work for a client, the client is not mandated by the IRS to supply you with a 1099-MISC. Yet, this does not mean you are not responsible for claiming this income. In fact, the IRS requires self-employed individuals earning more than $400 for the year to file taxes on those earnings. So, even if you do not receive a 1099-MISC for work you’ve done, you still need to keep track of these payments in order to include them when you file your tax return.

When Do I Need to Attach the Form 1099 to My Tax Return?

You do not always have to attach your a copy of your 1099-MISC to your tax return. The 2017 Instruction for IRS Form 1040 state (on page 77) that you only need to attach supplemental forms if federal taxes were withheld. Because no federal income taxes or Social Security and Medical contributions are typically withheld from earnings reported on the Form 1099-MISC, you likely won't need to attach it to your return – only statements that prove withholding should be attached. But, if for some reason your 1099-MISC does show any federal or state withholding, you'll have to submit it attached to your IRS Form 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

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How Do I Actually Attach the 1099?

If you do need to attach your 1099 to your tax return, make sure you do so correctly. Like with most things concerning the IRS, there are very specific rules and requirements regarding the way forms must be attached to your tax return. There is an Attachment Sequence No. located in the upper right corner of each schedule or form that lets you know in which order these forms must be attached. Supporting documents need to be arranged in the same order as the forms and schedules they are supporting.

About the Author

Tara Thomas has been a writer and traveler since 1997. Her articles appear in various online publications. She also has experience authoring grant proposals for a Southern California marine science laboratory, which helped her develop a lifelong interest in environmentalism. Thomas is an event planner, has a Bachelor of Science in marine biology from California State University, Long Beach, and worked as a mortgage consultant since 1998.

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