How to Fill Out IRS Form 1099-MISC if You Don’t Have an EIN

As a business owner, one of the most important aspects to manage (and often the most tedious and frustrating) is the taxation on your company by the Internal Revenue Service. To make the process go as efficiently and quickly as possible, you need to make sure you have the correct paperwork and identification numbers so that you avoid running into errors.

About Form 1099-MISC and EINs

The Internal Revenue Service Form 1099-MISC is needed to report miscellaneous income for non-employees that your business has paid throughout the year. It’s akin to a W-2 for full-time employees. Form 1099-MISC is often given to freelance or contract workers. You need to file this form for each individual you have paid throughout the tax year if:

  • You paid them at least $10 in royalties or broker payments instead of dividends/tax-exempt interest.
  • You paid them at least $600 in terms of rent, services, prizes/awards, medical and health care payments, and more. 
  • You made direct sales of consumer products to a buyer for resale of at least $50,000.

An EIN is the Employer Identification Number, which is a nine-digit number that the IRS assigns to specific businesses or entities (i.e., those who meet the requirements of needing an EIN) operating in the United States. This number identifies them for tax purposes.

Filling Out Form 1099-MISC Without an EIN

When submitting Form 1099-MISC, you need to include various requested information, a piece of which is the Employer Identification Number. But what if you don’t have this number? If you meet any of the requirements for Form 1099-MISC, you are required to fill it out, regardless of you having an EIN. So how can you file it?

It’s a Catch-22 because while you can submit the form without an EIN, you will eventually get a notice from the IRS informing you that you left that portion of the form blank. And yes, you may be subject to a monetary penalty for not providing this number. But by not sending the forms in on time, you can also be subject to a penalty. The solution? You need to get EIN.

How to get an EIN Number

Getting an EIN is a relatively easy process, and it does not take a long time for the Internal Revenue Service to issue one to you. According to the IRS, it takes only three steps:

1. Determine eligibility. You will need to get EIN number if operating in the United States or one of its territories. The individual applying must have an individual taxpayer ID number, such as a Social Security number.
2. Fill out the online application. It must be completed within one session. After 15 minutes of inactivity, the form will refresh and you will be required to start over. Therefore, have all necessary information available prior to starting.
3. Submit the application. After filling out all necessary information and hitting “Submit,” you will be immediately given an EIN. You can maintain the confirmation notice for your records.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take very long to get an EIN. But if your contractors fail to give you one and aren’t willing to give you their SSN instead, speak with your accountant for options on what to do to minimize any penalty.



item Finance: How to Fill Out IRS Form 1099-MISC if You Don’t Have an EIN
How to Fill Out IRS Form 1099-MISC if You Don’t Have an EIN Finance
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