The deadline for employers to report payments to contract workers on form 1099-MISC (box 7, nonemployee compensation) along with W-2 and W-3 forms is Jan. 31, which is rapidly approaching.

Brokers and franchise owners, for example, must file a 1099-MISC whenever they pay an independent contractor $600 or more in a year for work and are engaging in a trade or business, according to the IRS.

Despite the government shutdown, the Internal Revenue Service confirmed last week that it will process tax returns beginning Jan. 29 and provide refunds as scheduled.

“We are committed to ensuring that taxpayers receive their refunds notwithstanding the government shutdown,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement. “I appreciate the hard work of the employees and their commitment to the taxpayers during this period.”

An estimated 86 percent of all Realtors are independent contractors, according to the National Association of Realtors, which means tax season can be a yearly headache for all involved.

If you have questions, you can contact the IRS toll-free at 1-866-455-7438.

Email Patrick Kearns

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