Nominees Have 1099 Reporting Requirements

March 17, 2012

Candidates seeking political offices aren’t the only individuals who are “nominees.” For tax purposes, if you receive, in your name, income that actually belongs to someone else, you are also a nominee. Being a nominee means you must file with the IRS a 1099 form appropriate to the type of income you received and give a copy of the 1099 to the actual owner of the income. However, if the other person is your spouse, no 1099 filing is required.

The most common nominee situation is where a taxpayer and one or more other individuals have a joint financial account, and each person contributed toward the principal that was deposited. For example, let’s say that you and your brother have a joint savings account at Big Bank, into which your brother deposited 30% of the funds and you put in the rest. You’ve agreed to share the income in proportion to your contributions to the account. The annual interest income was $500. Your name and Social Security number were listed on the 1099-INT issued by Big Bank. Of the $500, $150 is actually your brother’s interest and $350 is yours. You will need to issue to the IRS and your brother a 1099-INT for $150 that identifies you as the payer and him as the recipient. On Schedule B of your tax return, you will report $500 of interest income from Big Bank, but will also enter “Nominee Distribution” and $150 as a subtraction. Thus, only your $350 will be taxed on your return. On his return, if he is required to file, your brother will report $150 of income with your name, not the bank’s, as the payer.

If you are a nominee for ordinary dividends received, the same method applies for allocating the income on Schedule B, but Form 1099-DIV is issued instead of 1099-INT. If capital gain distributions from a mutual fund or broker are nominee income, you report only your ownership share on your return and attach an explanation statement to your return; the capital gain distributions would not be included on a 1099-DIV that you issue as the payer.

If, as a nominee, you receive gross proceeds from selling stocks or bonds, you will need to issue a Form 1099-B to the IRS and the actual owner of the income. As with the interest and dividend income received by a nominee, rules are in place for completing your return so that only your portion of the net gain or loss from the sales is included in your income.

Forms 1099-INT and 1099-DIV that you issue as a nominee must be given to the recipients by January 31, while the deadline for giving Forms 1099-B to the other owner(s) is February 15. In order to avoid a penalty, copies of the 1099s need to be sent to the IRS by February 28. The 1099s must be submitted on magnetic media or on optically scannable forms (OCR forms). This firm prepares 1099s in OCR format for submission to the IRS along with the required 1096 transmittal form. This service provides recipient and file copies for your records.

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