I have read blogs that claim I need to file a 1099 if I hire a gardener to mow my lawn or a snow plow guy to do my driveway and pay them more than $600 per year, even if that contractor has lots of clients. How is this different than a plumber? Am I supposed to file 1099s when I hire a plumber or an electrician too?

  • Are you asking about your obligation as an individual or as a business owner? – Hart CO Oct 5 '19 at 0:12
  • @HartCO Individual person, not a business – Five Bagger Oct 5 '19 at 0:28
  • "Corporations (including LLCs or partnerships that elect to be treated as S- or C-corporations)" Does the plumber or electrician work for a corporation? – RonJohn Oct 5 '19 at 0:43
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    #1 You never wrote "independent", just "contractor". #2 Independent contractors can very well be LLCs or S Corp (for asset protection). – RonJohn Oct 5 '19 at 1:32
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    That article is aimed towards businesses that hire these people. Are you asking as a homeowner, a regular person, and not a business? – JTP - Apologise to Monica Oct 5 '19 at 2:11

The linked article starts with the line

When it comes to 1099s, many business owners find themselves in a guessing game, wondering what exactly the rules and requirements are.

The article is targeted towards business owners, not individuals.

The list doesn't apply to you. Would it ever apply to an individual? Yes, sort of. We had a nanny for my baby, until she was in preschool. Not a 1099, she was our W2 employee. That's an obvious case where we have to do something, vis-a-vis taxes. Could we have (legally) avoided that? Yes, by using a service, and hiring the nanny as an employee of that company. Similar to how temp agencies often work.

The other type of situation is a bit contrived. Say you have people that clean your house. They come because you called BigMegaClean and asked for their service. No 1099. But, say you saw a flyer on the telephone pole. "Joe and Jane, we'll clean your house." You invite them over and show them all the cleaning products they'll use, the vacuums, etc. If you pay them over $600 over the year, you might have to send them the 1099, as they are operating completely under your direction. Same if you found a teen, showed him the mower in your garage, and he mowed your lawn, but again, with your equipment, under your direction. This typically doesn't apply, and when it does, compliance is low. Who gives the sitter (even an adult) a 1099? Technically, you should.

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  • How does an individual even submit a 1099 for a contractor? – RonJohn Oct 5 '19 at 12:40
  • @RonJohn You get their TaxID, download a form from IRS.GOV and mail it to the IRS. – JohnFx Oct 5 '19 at 14:43
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    @RonJohn or go to any office supply store in US Dec to Feb and they'll have a rack or table full of packages with blank forms plus software to print them for you, including the 1096 transmittal, usually for like $10 or so. – dave_thompson_085 Oct 6 '19 at 6:06

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