Gardener 1099

Today TaxMama hears from Seth in the TaxQuips Forum with a sensible question. “I have a lawn guy for my house.  I pay him $90 a month for 8 months out of the year ($720 for the year).  The checks are made out to him directly.  From an IRS standpoint, am I supposed to do anything?  Am I supposed to send him a 1099 or something?  I figured that it is very common for homeowners to have a lawn person that does not have a lawn business.”

Hi Seth,

That’s a good question. I’ll bet a lot of people wonder about that and are reluctant to ask, lest they find themselves having to take on another administrative obligation.

But, first let me point something out to you. Your gardener does have a business. He’s getting paid for doing your lawn – and other people’s lawns. That’s a business.

How does that affect your obligation? If the gardener is not performing services for your business, you don’t need to issue a 1099-MISC to him.   Only businesses need to issue them – especially if they want to take a deduction for the amount they pay someone.

Next, let’s look at the household worker obligations. He may fall under those rules. As a household worker you are paying your lawn guy less than the aunnual threshold of $1700 for reporting.

 See, either way, you’re off the hook.  But thank you for being conscientious enough to ask.

 And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about household help, and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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