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What to do if you receive a W-2 and a 1099?

The majority of American taxpayers fall into one of two categories. Self-employed individuals are paid by a company for work or services performed and receive a 1099 tax form.  People who are employees on a company’s payroll and receive a regular paycheck receive a W-2 tax form. Some people receive both. In any of these cases, questions like “What are W2s” and “What’s a W2 vs W9,” as well as information on how to file w2 and 1099 taxes together, become really important, especially as tax deadlines near. Understanding the 1099 vs W2 vs W9 (and many more) is crucial when filing an accurate tax return. Knowing the differences between the 1099 and W2, especially, is important so you can know your tax obligations throughout the year.
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Key takeaways

  • A W-2 form reports employee income, a 1099 reports freelance income
  • Both W-2s and 1099s are needed for a taxpayer to file an accurate 1040 form
  • W-2 taxpayers have taxes withheld from their paychecks, 1099 taxpayers do not

Taxes in 1099 vs W2

The main differences between a 1099 vs W2 situation are how payment is made for work and how income tax gets paid to the IRS. Employees who work for a corporation receive a regular paycheck, and the income and Social Security tax they owe are automatically taken out, or “withheld,” as the IRS says.

1099 and W2 in same year

Some people have a W-2 job and a side gig or small business where they’re the sole proprietor. If you’re on the schedule each week at Home Depot, and you get a paycheck from the company every two weeks, but you also do carpentry work for clients on the side, you will receive a W2 and 1099 from these different employer entities. The 1099 will come from clients, and the W-2 will come from Home Depot at the end of the tax year. It might happen that one of your clients is a construction company that really likes the work you did as a freelancer and offers you a full-time W-2 job. So, How To File Taxes for a Small Business and W2? In that case, you’ll receive both a 1099 and a W-2 from that company, and you’ll be reporting both types of income when you file your 1040 form at the end of the year.

When do W2 have to be sent out?

There is no difference in the sending deadlines for 1099 vs W2 forms. The IRS requires companies with W-2 employees to send W-2 forms no later than January 31 each year so those employees can file their tax returns accurately and on time. Companies who pay self-employed people have the same deadline to send 1099s to the IRS and to people they have paid. But anyone self-employed needs to pay self-employment taxes on the income. The difference between 1099 and W2 forms is that W-2 employees have already paid tax in the form of withholdings from their earnings, and 1099 workers have yet to pay income tax to the IRS.