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If you receive payments via Venmo, PayPal, or other "cash apps" for goods, services, or reimbursements by friends, family members for a shared expense, you could expect to receive more Form(s) 1099-K starting with the 2023 tax year (forms to be issued in 2024).  This may trigger more reporting requirements on your annual income tax returns.  Here is more information from the IRS on the topic.

If you are self-employed or a business owner, you may be accustomed to receiving lots of Forms 1099 each year.  As long as you are tracking all relevant business income in your accounting records, receiving an additional 1099 shouldn't be a significant change for you, and you can include any/all Forms 1099-K as part of the tax documents you provide to our firm each year.

If you do not own a business, and the payments you receive through Venmo are all personal in nature -- good examples being a friendly reimbursement for a dinner tab, or selling furniture online through OfferUp -- receiving a Form 1099-K may be a new "thing" for you and your tax return.

What this Means to You:

  • Starting in 2023, if you receive total payments of more than $600 per year from an online payment processor, you should expect a Form 1099-K.  The previous threshold for Forms 1099-K is $20,000 in payments and more than 200 transactions in a year, and at that level, was most applicable to businesses using credit card processors.

  • Form 1099-K is filed annually in January by a payment processor, with copies provided to the taxpayer and the IRS.  The IRS will be "matching" this to income reported on your annual tax return (Form 1040).

  • If you receive a Form 1099-K and the income is personal in nature, you are able to provide expenses to offset the income, negating any tax impact.  However, for personal income and expenses, you are not able to deduct more than the amount of income being reported.  In essence, you can't take a "tax loss" on personal property sales.

  • We recommend that you keep a log, notes, spreadsheet, and/or receipts of transactions that are connected to personal reimbursements received through an online payment platform.  As long as there is no taxable profit, you should not have to pay tax on this income.  However, if a Form 1099-K is issued, it still needs to be reported on your annual tax returns or you run the risk of receiving IRS notices.

    • Example 1: ​you sold a desk online for $700, and the original cost was $1,500.  You would be able to use $700 of the cost to offset the income, resulting in $0 taxable income to you.

    • Example 2: you sold a collectable item for $1,000 and the original cost was $500.  In this case you would have a taxable gain of $500.

  • The "personal loss rules" does not apply the same way to business owners or self-employed people.  In these cases, you can still deduct the relevant expenses to operate your business.

  • This is also a good opportunity to mention and provide some references to the IRS "hobby loss" rules, and what the IRS considers a business versus a hobby, and how that determination can impact your taxes.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding Form 1099-K reporting.

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