This is a US specific scenario that I ran into recently and was wondering if it is up to the employer or the contractor to provide the 1099-MISC tax filing form? The contractor recently asked me to provide one before any payment could be made, which seemed backwards to me.

From my understanding, a 1099-MISC is to be supplied by the employer, completed with their information, at the end of the year and submitted by the contractor around tax filing time.

  • Your contractor's confused. Have you started work already? Sounds like you're dealing with a noob. The employer provides it.
    – Xavier J
    Jan 20, 2014 at 20:41

2 Answers 2


Employers send 1099-MISC to contractors, not vice-versa. Even if the employer does not send a 1099 to a contractor, the contractor is still on the hook for the taxes.

The instructions for form 1099 explain it very clearly: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1099msc.pdf

"File Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, for each person to whom you have paid during the year:"


While it is typically clients that send contrators 1099's, if a third-party payment provider like PayPal is used to pay the contractors, it is the responsibility of that provider to give a 1099-K. However, the threshold for the 1099-K is $20,000 is gross proceeds, not the typically $600 level for 1099-MISC.

Therefore, if you are freelancing and getting paid via PayPal, Venmo, etc., it is crucial that you keep track of your own earnings rather than rely on the company.


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