Can a company I contracted for two years ago contact me and request my W-9 information now if they’ve never given me a 1099?

Jan 21, 2019

While contracting for a company short-term two years ago (2017), they neglected to give me a 1099 that year or in 2018. Recently, they have been trying to contact me to get "their books in order" and my W-9 information. It seems this would mandate that I file an amendment/adjustment to 2017, owe money, and create more work for me due to their inefficient bookkeeping. What is the time limit on their ability to request this information from me?

If you reported the income they paid to you on your tax return, you don’t have to do anything about the prior years. The company will face a penalty for not filing the 1099. As long as you paid taxes on your earnings, giving them the W-9 will have no negative consequence to you. In general, the IRS can go back three years, so the 2017 return is fair game. If you didn’t report the income, you should amend your return, and you will face penalties and interest for the difference in income.  

For more resources, check out PICPA’s Money & Life Tips, Ask a CPA, or CPA Locator.

Answered by: Judith Herron, CPA, is with Markovitz Dugan & Associates in Pittsburgh, Pa.

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