Beat the 1099 Deadline: A QuickBooks Online Guide for Small Businesses

1099 Forms have to be filed by January 31.

Are you ready?

Navigating tax season is a crucial task for small business owners, and an essential part of this is handling the 1099 process effectively. QuickBooks Online (QBO), a popular accounting software, can streamline this task, making it more efficient and less prone to errors. Let’s dive into how you can leverage QBO to manage your 1099 obligations.

Understanding the 1099 Form

The 1099 form is vital for reporting income paid to freelancers and independent contractors. Specifically, the 1099-NEC form is used for individuals or entities paid $600 or more in a financial year for services rendered. 

Importance of the 1099 Process

Adhering to the 1099 process isn’t just about compliance; it’s about maintaining accurate financial records and avoiding penalties from the IRS.

Steps to Prepare for the 1099 Process Using QBO

Step 1: Identify Who Needs a 1099

Determine which contractors need a 1099-NEC. Generally, this applies to any non-employee to whom you’ve paid at least $600 during the year. More specifically, the IRS states that you have to file a 1099-NEC if the following four conditions are met:

  • You made the payment to someone who is not your employee.
  • You made the payment for services in the course of your trade or business (including government agencies and nonprofit organizations).
  • You made the payment to an individual, estate, or, in some cases, a corporation.
  • You made payments to the payee of at least $600 during the year. (IRS)

Step 2: Collect W-9 Forms

Before you pay any contractor, ensure you have a completed Form W-9 from them. This form provides you with their legal name, address, and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

Step 3: Set Up the Vendors in QBO for 1099 Tracking

  • Ensure that your contractor’s vendor record in QBO matches the W-9 they provided you. Check that the name, address and tax ID all match.
  • One crucial step is to flag the vendor as a 1099 vendor. To do so, simply open the vendor record in QBO and in the tax section where you enter their tax id, there is a check box that says “Track payments for 1099”. Simply check that box to… track payments for 1099.
  • Note: If in section 3 of the W-9 the following boxes are checked, you don’t have to provide a 1099.
    • C Corporation
    • S Corporation
    • Limited Liability Company (with a tax classification of C or S)

Step 4: Track Payments Throughout the Year

QuickBooks Online automatically tracks payments to contractors. Make sure you correctly record each payment under the appropriate vendor to ensure accurate 1099 reporting. Note that payments made by credit/debit cards or via a third-party system like Paypal shouldn’t be included in the 1099 calculations. The vendors receive a tax form from their payment processor for those payments. QBO will automatically exclude those payments from the 1099 processing if any of the following terms are included in the check number field of the payment:

  • Debit, Debitcard, DBT, DBT card, DCard, Debit cd, Visa, Masterc, MC, MCard, Chase, Discover, Diners, Paypal (QBO)

Step 5: Generate and File 1099 Forms

At the end of the year, QuickBooks Online can automatically generate 1099 forms for your contractors. It allows you to review and edit these forms before electronically filing them with the IRS and sending copies to your contractors.

Step 6: Keep Digital Records

QuickBooks stores all your 1099 forms and related contractor information securely in the cloud, ensuring easy access and compliance with record-keeping requirements. I would also recommend that you attach the W-9s to the appropriate vendor record in QBO.

Additional Tips

  • Regularly Update QuickBooks: Keep your QuickBooks Online account updated with the latest transactions and contractor information throughout the year to avoid last-minute hassles.
  • Stay Informed: Tax laws and software features can change. Keep abreast of any updates in QuickBooks Online and IRS regulations.


Managing the 1099 process with QuickBooks Online can greatly simplify this mandatory task for small business owners. By leveraging the tools and features offered by QuickBooks, you can ensure accuracy and compliance while saving time and resources. If you’re tired of scrambling every December and January to get ready for 1099s, it’s time to consider a more streamlined approach. Let me take the reins of your ongoing bookkeeping needs. With my expertise, you can focus on growing your business, secure in the knowledge that your books are in order and ready for tax season. Contact me today to take the first step towards hassle-free financial management.


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