Form 1099-NEC: Generating and filing contractor Non-employee Compensation forms

Beginning with the 2020 tax year, non-employee compensation is reported in Box 1 of Form 1099-NEC. This change means that independent contractor payments made through Wave will no longer be reported on Form 1099-MISC. Form 1099-NEC will be available to generate in Wave beginning on January 7, 2021

Form 1099-NEC requirements

Due dates

Additional information

How to generate & download Form 1099-NEC in Wave

What is Form 1096 for?

How can I ensure my 1099-NEC forms generate with correct amounts?


Form 1099-NEC requirements 

You must send Form 1099-NEC, Non-employee Compensation (NEC), to any contractors you have paid at least $600 to during 2020, as well as file the form with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

If the following four conditions are met, you must generally report a payment as NEC:

  • You made the payment to someone who is not your employee.
  • You made the payment for services in the course of your trade or business (including government agencies and nonprofit organizations).
  • You made the payment to an individual, partnership, estate, or, in some cases, a corporation.
  • You made payments to the payee of at least $600 during the year.

Important dates

Form 1099-NEC is due to your contractors and the IRS by January 31st of the following tax year. If this date falls on a weekend or holiday, the filing deadline moves to the following business day.

For the 2020 tax year, Form 1099-NEC will be due to the IRS February 1st, 2021, as January 31, 2021 falls on a Sunday.

The amount of the penalty is based on when you file the correct information return, and are as follows, with the maximums for small businesses:

  • $50 per 1099, if you file within 30 days of due date; maximum penalty of $197,500
  • $110 per 1099, if you file more than 30 days after the due date but by August 1; maximum penalty of $565,000
  • $280 per 1099, if you file after August 1; maximum penalty of $1,130,500

Not providing a correct statement (intentional disregard) carries a penalty of $560 per 1099, with no maximum for the year.

Additional information

  • Form 1099-NEC can be filed electronically through the IRS' FIRE (Filing Information Returns Electronically).
  • If you are required to file 250 or more information returns during the year, you must file electronically.
  • If filing on paper, a Form 1096 (cover page) must be sent as well.
  • Form 1099-K is still used for payment cards and third party network transactions - this is provided by the third party network directly to the contractor.
  • Issuers have the option to truncate the recipients SSN/EIN. This can look either like:
    • XXX-XX-1234 or;
    • replacing X with *

How to generate & download Form 1099-NEC

Your 2020 1099-NEC forms will be available to generate in Wave in January 2021.

If you use Wave Payroll, you can generate a 1099-NEC form for every contractor you’ve marked as a 1099 Contractor and paid more than $600 in the 2020 calendar year

  1. Click Payroll > Click Tax Forms
  2. Choose the year 2020 from the drop down menu
  3. Click Generate next to the 1099 you would like to file
  4. Review and confirm the details of yourself, as the Payer and of your 1099 contractor, as the Recipient, including their total compensation for the tax year
  5. Click Confirm & Continue
  6. On the following page, proceed to Step 3 and click E-file your tax forms now. When selected, Wave will handle e-filing on your behalf, for this 1099-NEC form.

    Please note that you must have an active subscription with Wave Payroll in order to e-file with Wave. The cost for filing with Wave is $5 per form.

  7. Repeat these steps for remaining 1099 contractors.
  8. After 1099-NEC forms are generated, download Copy B and give it to your contractor. Copy C is available for your records.

What is Form 1096 for?

The IRS Form 1096 is an "Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns". This form is required when submitting paper forms, including the 1099-NEC, to the IRS. Form 1096 is not sent to recipients. 

You do not need to use Form 1096 if you are filing 1099-NEC forms electronically. This means if Wave is submitting 1099-NEC forms on your behalf, a Form 1096 is not required.

How can I ensure my 1099-NEC forms generate with correct amounts?

You can get ahead of tax time by ensuring your bills are marked correctly to have them appear on your Forms 1099-NEC when they are made available in January of 2021.

  • Step 1: Make sure all contractor bills have correct dates
    • Go to Purchases > Bills. Select any bill to review the Date.
    • For example, if you expect the bill amount to be included on your 2020 1099-NEC form, then the bill date should be within 2020. If it's not, the bill will not be reflected on the 2020 1099-NEC form.
  • Step 2: Next, make sure the bill is Paid.
    • If the bill is outstanding, check out this guide on adding and paying contractors for how to Record a Manual Payment. Make sure the bill payment is also dated correctly.



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