In 2017, I worked with a startup and they had no payroll team. They paid me for my internship and for the tax they told me you need to file your own.

In Jan and Feb 2018, I reached out to them multiple times to send me the tax document. But they never replied and now I have no idea how to report my income.

So my question is how do I report my income? Please, can you give any link to follow? I searched for 4 hours and have no idea how to file my tax.

Do I need to file 1099 MISC or 1040?

This is my first time filling for tax.

  • 1
    Am I correct in assuming that you did not receive any kind of paystub/earning statements along with your paychecks showing any tax withheld? Mar 14 '18 at 15:36
  • Was the total amount they paid you more than $600? Mar 14 '18 at 15:36
  • It was more than $600, all was in check and yes your assumption is correct that I didn't receive any kind of paystub/earning statements. What do you suggest? This is my first time filling and I don't feel confident about it. Do you know any links that can help me out? Mar 14 '18 at 20:12
  • So you did not get an earning statement, and they did not withhold any taxes? Mar 14 '18 at 20:14
  • See my answer; that is what I suggest. If you don’t understand, let us know what you are having trouble with. Mar 14 '18 at 20:15

The form you need to fill out is a 1040 (tax return). (Form 1099 is filed by the company paying someone, so you don’t need to file it.)

Regardless of whether or not you should have been a W-2 employee or a 1099 independent contractor, the fact of the matter is that they treated you as an independent contractor. If they paid you more than $600, they were supposed to give you a 1099-MISC. However, the fact that they didn’t give you one doesn’t matter to you; if you know how much they paid you, you can file your taxes.

As an independent contractor, you are considered self-employed; the company you worked for is your customer, not your employer. You have to pay tax on what you earned, and you also have to pay self-employment tax, which takes the place of FICA/payroll taxes that would have been paid if you had been getting a regular paycheck. To offset that, you may be able to deduct some related business expenses, if you had any.


You'll file one of the 1040 forms (1040EZ, 1040A, or just 1040) for your tax return, depending on the other details of your

You can file a Form 4852 as a replacement for the W-2. For a paid internship, you should generally be getting a W-2 rather than a 1099.

However, if your internship was set up as an independent contracting-type arrangement, you'd expect a 1099-MISC, not a 1099-R. In that case, Form 4852 wouldn't fit.

In this situation, it would definitely help to call the IRS for guidance.

  • It seems possible that this could be classified as a 1099 and not a W2. I wouldn't foreclose it completely.
    – gaefan
    Mar 14 '18 at 13:10
  • @JeffO'Neill Technically, anything is possible, but it seems pretty pretty cut-and-dried that interns and similar positions should be classified as employees under the IRS guidelines
    – Brian
    Mar 14 '18 at 15:02
  • I don’t think Form 4852 applies here. It’s not the case that he simply didn’t receive a W-2 or that the company didn’t generate one. Since the company had no payroll dept, he had absolutely no tax withheld, essentially being paid in cash. Mar 14 '18 at 15:22

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