As a self-publishing author, you should consider your writing as a business. And in this way, there are protocols that you need to follow — namely taxes. (See Tax Tips for Authors: Are you a Business or a Hobby? )
When Form 1099-MISC must be filed
The basic rule is if you promote your writing in n attempt to make a profit, and if you paid an unincorporated independent contractor — independent contractor who is a sole proprietor, member of a partnership or LLC — $600 or more in a year, then you must file a 1099.
The paper forms are printed with two 1099-MISC to a page. The 1099 form can be found at your local Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or you can order them online from the IRS website (also free). You can also purchase them through an office supply retailer.
Great tip from Carol Topp, TaxesforWriters.com
If you don’t need 25 copies of the Form 1099MISC, consider using an online service like FileTaxes.com. They charge about $4 per form and will mail a copy to the recipient for you and one to the IRS too! I’ve used them so several years and have been quite happy!
What form goes where?
- Copy A goes to the Internal Revenue Service
- Copy 1 goes to the state (if your recipient lives in a income taxing state)
- Copy B and Copy 2 goes to the person or business who did work for your business
- You keep Copy C for your records.
If you have only a few 1099-MISCs to issue, these can be accomplished manually with little frustration. If you have more than a few, consider either outsourcing the work or purchasing software to print the forms in a submittable format to avoid making mistakes.
Carol Topp, TaxesforWriters.com
…the 1099MISC form (in pdf format) on the IRS website cannot be used as is. The IRS requires the form in red ink so their machines can scan it in. That’s why you have to buy forms from office supply stores or use an online service.