As tax time nears, watch for 1099-MISC forms in the mail; they report income other than wages or salaries to you and the Internal Revenue Service. You'll receive a 1099-MISC for any rents or royalties, prizes or rewards, or payments of $600 or more for work you did for somebody other than a regular employer. You'll receive a separate 1099-MISC from every payer for whom you worked. How you report that information on a Form 1040 federal income tax return depends on the type of income in sections of the 1099-MISC.
Report rents and royalties on a Schedule E Supplemental Income and Loss. Put rents from Box 1 of the 1099-MISC on Line 3 of the Schedule E, royalties from Box 2 on Line 4. Add the totals if you receive more than one 1099-MISC. Complete the rest of the Schedule E as required and enter the total on Line 17 of your Form 1040.
Use a Schedule C for any money you received for freelance work or business activity. Complete a Schedule SE if you are self-employed. Calculate your self-employment tax on that form and use the Schedule C directions to figure your taxable income to enter on Line 12 of your Form 1040. Total the figures from all 1099-MISC forms for Schedule C.
Enter any amounts in Box 3, other income, of the 1099-MISC on Line 21 of Form 1040 and any "excess golden parachute payments" in Box 13 on Line 61. Combine totals if you have more than one 1099-MISC with those boxes completed. Refer to specific IRS instructions if you have a fishing boat or farm income on a 1099-MISC, as special rules apply.
Add amounts in Box 4, income tax withheld, on all 1099-MISC forms. Combine that with any tax withheld from a W-2 or other types of 1099 and record the total in Line 62 of Form 1040. Match that total against your total tax to figure your refund or liability.
Bob Haring has been a news writer and editor for more than 50 years, mostly with the Associated Press and then as executive editor of the Tulsa, Okla. "World." Since retiring he has written freelance stories and a weekly computer security column. Haring holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri.