1099ing the Gardener


Today TaxMama hears from Donna in the TaxQuips Forum with a good question. “Do I need to 1099 the gardener that is paid $250.00 per month?”

Dear Donna,

Let me clarify the concept of the 1099-MISC. It is designed to be sent out by businesses that want to claim a business deduction for payments paid for services rendered.

So, if your gardener is strictly working on your personal home, not for a home office…No! You don’t need to send him a 1099-MISC.

However, the amount you are paying him, $3,000 per year, brings up another issue – household employees. Since you are paying the gardener more than $1,700 (2011) or $1,800 (2012), it’s a good idea to get a copy of his business license, and his business card. Keep them in your files to prove he is in business for himself and not your household employee.

Otherwise, you could be faced with treating him as an employee, with a W-2, and quarterly payroll tax returns, etc. The State of California has even more complicated rules – you have to file all the forms that any regular employer would have to file.

You and I know he’s not your employee. So, avoid all the hassle and just keep proof in your file. And if he doesn’t have a business license – tell him to get one! Immediately.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about 1099s and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.

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