New Federal rules just increased the penalty for FAILURE to file a 1099-MISC form from $50 to $500,000. That makes Wisconsin’s $25,000 penalty for WRONGLY filing a 1099-MISC in the construction industry seem pale in comparison.
Here are the details of the new Federal penalties for failure to file a Form 1099-MISC for payments for services in excess of $600 during the calendar, in your trade or business, to unincorporated payees:
A person that fails to file a correct information return by the due date and cannot show reasonable cause may be subject to a penalty. The penalty applies if the person fails to file timely, fails to include all information required to be shown on a return, or includes incorrect information on a return. The penalty also applies if a person files on paper when required to file electronically, reports an incorrect taxpayer identification number (TIN) or fails to report a TIN, or fails to file paper forms that are machine readable. The amount of the penalty is based on when the correct information return is filed. For returns required to be filed on or after January 1, 2011, the penalty is:
(1) $30 per information return for returns filed correctly within 30 days after the due date (by March 30 if the due date is February 28), with a maximum penalty of $250,000 a year ($75,000 for certain small businesses);
(2) $60 per information return for returns filed more than 30 days after the due date but by August 1, with a maximum penalty of $500,000 a year ($200,000 for certain small businesses); and
(3) $100 per information return for returns filed after August 1 or not filed at all, with a maximum penalty of $1,500,000 a year ($500,000 for certain small businesses).
For this purpose, a business is a small business for any calendar year if its average annual gross receipts for the most recent three tax years (or for the period it was in existence, if shorter) ending before the calendar year do not exceed $5,000,000.
Persons who are required to file information returns electronically but who fail to do so (without an approved waiver) are treated as having failed to file the return, and are therefore subject to a penalty of up to $100 per return unless the person shows reasonable cause for the failure. However, they can file up to 250 returns on paper; those returns will not be subject to a penalty for failure to file electronically. The penalty applies separately to original returns and corrected returns.
For each fifth calendar year beginning after 2012, each of the dollar amounts described above is subject to indexing for inflation.