What’s the difference between a Form W-2 and a Form 1099-MISC or Form 1099-NEC?

    Tax planning. Laptop with form individual income tax returns


    Although these forms are called information returns, they serve different functions.

    Employers use Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement to:

    •             Report wages, tips, and other compensation paid to an employee.

    •             Report the employee’s income and social security taxes withheld and other information.

    Employers furnish the Form W-2 to the employee and the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration shares the information with the Internal Revenue Service.

    Payers use Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Information or Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation to:

    •             Report payments made of at least $600 in the course of a trade or business to a person who’s not an employee for services, payments to an attorney, or any amount of federal income tax withheld under the backup withholding rules (Form 1099-NEC).

    •             Report payments of $10 or more made in the course of a trade or business in gross royalties or broker payments in lieu of dividends or tax-exempt interest or $600 or more made in the course of a trade or business in rents or for other specified purposes (Form 1099-MISC).

    •             Report sales totaling $5,000 or more of consumer products to a person on a buy-sell, a deposit-commission, or other commission basis for resale (Form 1099-NEC or Form 1099-MISC).

    •             Report payment information to the IRS and the person or business that received the payment. (Source: IRS.gov)