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Do Realtors Get 1099s? A Comprehensive Guide to Tax Reporting for Real Estate Professionals

Do Realtors Get 1099s? A Comprehensive Guide to Tax Reporting for Real Estate Professionals

Tax season can be a stressful time for many, and real estate professionals must understand their tax obligations. Whether you're a real estate agent, broker, or real estate investor, one question often arises: Do realtors get 1099s? In this guide, we will explore the tax reporting requirements for real estate professionals in the United States, including the use of Form 1099-MISC and Form 1099-NEC.

Understanding 1099 Forms

1099 forms are used by businesses and individuals to report various types of income other than wages, salaries, and tips. They serve as a way for the IRS to track and tax these income sources accurately. The two primary 1099 forms relevant to real estate professionals are Form 1099-MISC and Form 1099-NEC.

Form 1099-MISC

Historically, real estate professionals have commonly received Form 1099-MISC. This form is used to report miscellaneous income, including non-employee compensation paid to independent contractors, such as real estate agents, brokers, and property managers. If you receive $600 or more in non-employee compensation from a single client or payer during the tax year, they are required to issue you a Form 1099-MISC.

However, there have been significant changes in recent years that impact how income is reported on 1099 forms for real estate professionals. The IRS introduced a new form, Form 1099-NEC, which is now used to report non-employee compensation.

Form 1099-NEC

Starting in tax year 2020, non-employee compensation, previously reported on Form 1099-MISC, is reported on Form 1099-NEC. For real estate professionals, this means that payments received from clients, commissions, or any other form of non-employee compensation should be reported on Form 1099-NEC if they meet the $600 threshold.

Real estate professionals must be aware of this change and ensure that their clients and payers use the correct form when reporting their income. Filing income under the wrong form can lead to complications with the IRS and potential tax issues.

Who Must Receive 1099s?

Real estate professionals who receive non-employee compensation, such as commissions, rental income, referral fees, or any other form of payment related to their real estate activities, should expect to receive a Form 1099-NEC from their clients or payers if the total payments equal or exceed $600 during the tax year.

Here's a breakdown of different types of income that may be reported on a 1099-NEC for real estate professionals:

  • Commissions: Realtors who earn commissions from selling properties are considered independent contractors and should receive a 1099-NEC from their brokerage or client.

  • Rental Income: Property managers who receive compensation for managing rental properties should receive 1099-NEC forms from property owners.

  • Referral Fees: Real estate agents who refer clients to other professionals in the industry and receive compensation for it should also expect 1099-NEC forms.

  • Miscellaneous Fees: Any other non-employee compensation, such as fees for real estate consulting, staging, or photography, should be reported on a 1099-NEC if they exceed $600.

Real estate professionals need to maintain accurate records of all income received throughout the year, as this information will be used to report income when filling out tax returns.

Who Must Issue 1099s?

If you are a real estate professional who has paid non-employee compensation to others, you are responsible for issuing 1099-NEC forms to the individuals or entities who received those payments. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Threshold: You must issue a 1099-NEC if you paid $600 or more in non-employee compensation to an individual or business during the tax year.

  • Reporting Deadlines: The deadline for sending 1099-NEC forms to recipients is January 31st of the following tax year. Additionally, you must file a copy of the 1099-NEC with the IRS by January 31st if you are filing on paper or by March 31st if filing electronically.

  • Penalties: Failure to issue 1099-NEC forms or late filing can result in penalties imposed by the IRS, so it's essential to meet the deadlines and provide accurate information.

It's crucial for real estate professionals who make payments to independent contractors or service providers to keep track of these transactions and ensure they comply with IRS reporting requirements.

How to Report 1099 Income on Your Tax Return

Real estate professionals who receive 1099-NEC forms must include this income on their tax returns. When reporting 1099-NEC income on your tax return, follow these steps:

  • Report All Income: Include all the income reported on your 1099-NEC forms on the appropriate lines of your tax return. For individual taxpayers, this typically means reporting the income on Schedule C (Profit or Loss from Business).

  • Deduct Allowable Expenses: You can deduct business-related expenses incurred while earning the reported income to reduce your taxable income. Ensure that you maintain accurate records of these expenses.

  • Pay Self-Employment Tax: Real estate professionals are typically considered self-employed, which means they are responsible for paying self-employment tax to cover Social Security and Medicare. This tax can be calculated on Schedule SE (Self-Employment Tax).

  • File and Pay Taxes: Submit your tax return by the deadline and pay any taxes owed. It's crucial to meet these deadlines to avoid penalties and interest.

It's essential to consult with a qualified tax professional or use tax software to ensure that you complete your tax return accurately. Deductions, credits, and other factors can significantly affect your tax liability, and a professional can help you optimize your tax situation.

Record-Keeping and Compliance

Proper record-keeping is essential for real estate professionals to ensure compliance with tax reporting requirements. Here are some best practices for record-keeping:

  • Maintain Accurate Records: Keep detailed records of all income received, including dates, amounts, payers, and the nature of the income.

  • Save Receipts and Invoices: Keep receipts and invoices for business expenses, as these will be needed to support your deductions.

  • Track Mileage: If you use your vehicle for business purposes, keep a mileage log to track deductible mileage.

  • Use Accounting Software: Consider using accounting software to streamline your financial record-keeping and simplify tax preparation.

  • Keep 1099s Organized: Keep all 1099-NEC forms and related documentation in an organized file for easy reference during tax season.

By maintaining organized and accurate records, you can ensure that you report your income correctly and take advantage of all allowable deductions and credits.


Real estate professionals in the United States must navigate specific tax reporting requirements, and understanding the use of 1099-NEC forms is crucial for compliance. While Form 1099-MISC was previously used for reporting non-employee compensation, the introduction of Form 1099-NEC in 2020 has changed the landscape of tax reporting for real estate professionals.

Both real estate professionals and their clients or payers need to be aware of these changes and ensure that the correct form is used for reporting income. Failure to do so can lead to IRS scrutiny and potential tax issues.

By maintaining accurate records, complying with IRS reporting requirements, and seeking professional tax advice when necessary, real estate professionals can navigate tax season with confidence and minimize their tax liability.

Remember that tax laws and regulations can change, so staying informed and consulting with tax professionals is always a smart move to ensure that you are following the latest guidelines and making the most of available deductions and credits.



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