IRIS Online Portal: What to Know About Filing 1099 Forms

Written by Bryce Allen
Startup FinanceTaxation
Man sitting on his couch with coffee waving during a video chat

1099 forms are extremely important tax-related documents issued to individuals for reporting income that does not come from an employer.

1099 forms report income from a variety of transactions such as rents, royalties, interests and profits from the sale of securities, or other wages not included in a traditional W-2 form.

What are 1099 forms?

A 1099 form is an IRS tax form that provides an accounting of funds paid to a recipient in a given calendar year. 1099 forms are used when transactions exceeding $600 are paid to that recipient. 1099 forms report income from a variety of transactions such as rents, royalties, interests and profits from the sale of securities, or other wages not included in a traditional W-2 form. 1099 forms are also used to report miscellaneous income including payments made to independent contractors and other services such as legal fees and medical payments received.

1099 forms are divided into several different categories based on the type of income they’re used to report and can be found in either physical or electronic formats. They must then be filed with the IRS no later than January 31 following the end of the calendar year in which they were issued. 1099 forms are vital pieces of documentation for taxpayers filing their taxes correctly and accurately every year; if you receive one during tax season it’s essential that you understand what it is and how to properly file it accordingly.

1099-MISC and 1099-NEC are two IRS 1099 Forms that both report a person or company’s non-employee compensation for services. 1099-MISC has been used for decades to report miscellaneous income, such as prize winnings or rent payments from a property. 1099-NEC was created in 2020 to simplify 1099 reporting and make it easier for both the payer and recipient of services. 1099-NEC is specifically used to report payments made to independent contractors and freelancers who provided services without creating an employment contract with you.

Services needing no 1099 include when the total amount paid is less than $600; if any withholding taxes were taken out; if you received personal services done by someone you personally know (family members, acquaintances, close friends); any payments made to religious organizations or tax-exempt organizations; alimony; or employee reimbursements or expenses.

Filing 1099 forms via IRIS

The Internal Revenue Service’s Information Returns Intake System (IRIS) provides an easy and secure way for businesses to file 1099 forms online. IRIS is easy to use, as it allows businesses to intake information returns quickly by automatically verifying data against IRS records. IRIS simplifies the complex filing process by providing easy-to-use online tools that help businesses manage and submit these vital tax documents. Businesses simply enter the required information into IRIS and upload supporting documents, including PDFs and digital images of source documentation, if needed.

IRIS will also ensure that any submission of 1099s is always up-to-date, compliant with all relevant regulations, and delivered within the specified deadlines. IRIS will then transmit a submission receipt and send two files: one containing the federal e-filed returns and another containing the state returns. These files are then securely stored in IRIS allowing businesses to access their records at any time. Businesses can gain peace of mind knowing that IRIS is designed to make 1099 filing fast, convenient, and reliable.

Which business structures can utilize IRIS?

IRIS can be used by independent contractors, sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations and partnerships filing information returns such as 1098-MISC’s and 1099-INT’s. This includes those self-employed persons who subcontract and other professionals such as doctors and lawyers who hire subcontractors. IRIS is a powerful tool the IRS offers to streamline businesses’ information return filing, including Form 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498 and W-2G.

IRIS is available online and allows businesses of all sizes—from small startups to Fortune 500 companies—to submit information returns more efficiently, quickly and accurately as compared to traditional methods. IRIS can be used by any organization that is paying funds to one or multiple individuals or entities during a given tax season. IRIS is capable of handling an unlimited number of filings from different locations worldwide, making it an ideal solution for multinational businesses that need to manage diverse transaction types and payments in multiple currencies.

Challenges filing without IRIS

Filing 1099s can be an arduous task for small businesses, especially when the business is launching or has limited resources. Depending on the nature of the 1099 forms, firms may be required to provide personal information such as legal name, social security number (SSN) or employer identification number (EIN) of independent contractors. Keeping track and verifying this information in an organized format can be difficult and time-consuming for small businesses that don’t have tax experts on staff. Furthermore, understanding how 1099s will impact their overall tax strategy requires a significant degree of business acumen and often necessitates advice from legal professionals, advisors and accountants.

For startups that use a freelance or contractor-based workforce, 1099s can quickly become overwhelming to keep track of and file on time. Hiring an accountant to help ease the burden is a smart move, as they are experts in financial management and will ensure accurate filing of all documents. Accountants are highly knowledgeable about how to properly complete 1099s, ensuring accuracy and avoiding costly mistakes.

Benefits of filing with IRIS

IRIS is an online filing system designed to benefit small businesses. IRIS filing offers small business owners both convenience and transparency when filing their taxes. IRIS simplifies the process of online filing and also reduces cost, time, and effort by automating data entry and streamlining transactions. IRIS also provides invaluable insight into business operations and includes features such as SmartPay–a payment reminder service that helps small businesses with managing their accounts receivables. IRIS more importantly has built-in security measures to ensure the privacy of financial and customer information. IRIS therefore enables small business owners to track income, expenses, customers, taxes and other important information – all in one software platform – giving them freedom and ease of use with a low risk environment.

Should I still use an accountant?

IRIS has made filing taxes easier and more straightforward than ever before. However, this doesn’t mean that small businesses can afford to slack off on the importance of having a dependable accountant. Even with IRIS, accountants remain essential for small businesses. IRIS simplifies some of the tedious manual work associated with accounting, but it’s only one piece of the larger puzzle. Highly experienced and qualified accountants understand the intricacies of business finances far better than a machine or software due to their sophisticated knowledge in taxation law and understanding of various financial elements.

Accountants can provide invaluable guidance on taxes, auditing, budgeting, investments and cash flow management–topics which IRIS can’t replace entirely. Accountants have the experience and skill set required to look at business finances holistically, giving owners valuable insight into where their performance could be improved as well as tips for avoiding potential issues in the future. When IRIS is used hand-in-hand with accountants’ specialized expertise, small businesses are positioned to navigate financial complexities more effectively and efficiently.

Benefits of outsourcing an accountant

For startup companies that rely heavily on freelancers, engaging an accountant can be a great way to manage 1099 filings efficiently. An accountant can ensure that the correct forms are being completed accurately and filed with deadlines in mind, which can help avoid costly penalties for missed or incorrect filings. Additionally, an accountant can provide guidance when it comes to applying for tax deductions related to employee benefits and payroll software, which can ultimately save businesses money in the long run.

For small businesses, using an accountant to file taxes and 1099s can be a huge benefit. An accountant has years of experience and specialized training that most small business owners don’t have, and as such can help to ensure accuracy when filing documents that are necessary for daily operations. In addition, by relying on an accountant to manage this task, the internal CFO or accountant of the company not only has time to focus on other important tasks but can also ensure that all taxes and 1099s are filed in an efficient manner.

The impact of the new IRIS portal on businesses has been considerable, taking away some of the burden associated with filing 1099 forms. With this newfound ease, some business owners may be tempted to skip having an accountant review their completed 1099 forms before submission. Yet this can be a huge risk that could cause legal penalties and other unpleasant results. If you want to maximize your success and keep things running smoothly, it’s still a smart move to work with a trusted financial advisor like Rooled.

At Rooled, we have both the expertise and technological savvy to make sure all your tax and financial records are compliant, up-to-date, and kept securely in one place. With our streamlined process and superior customer service, you can trust that your information is always accurate and secure. Plus, our team provides valuable advice on how best to handle the documentation to make sure you’re making the most informed decisions for your business.

About the Author

Bryce Allen

Bryce Allen is the Director of Tax at Rooled, Inc., in his 16th year of public accounting firm experience. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting at San Jose State University. R&D tax credit guidance is a key area of Bryce's expertise.