Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Form 1099-K Reconciliation Cancelled

The IRS has decided that businesses will not be required to reconcile their gross receipts with merchant card transactions reported on the new 1099-K form.

Steven T. Miller, IRS deputy commissioner for services and enforcement, wrote to the National Federation of Independent Business that no reconciliation will be required on 2012 or future business tax returns. Last October the IRS had earlier said that no reconciliation would be required for only the 2011 tax returns.

In the way of history, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 required the IRS to begin collecting a new Form 1099-K from payment-settlement entities, such as credit card companies, for merchant transactions such as credit and debit card payments. The payment settlement entity is required to issue a 1099-K to a merchant if the merchant’s business for the previous year exceeded either $20,000 or 200 transactions.

Why would businesses complain? Well, for one, if the taxpayer identification number and legal name do not match with IRS’s files, there is back-up withholding of 28% of the transaction. How is the business to account for refunds or returns? For sales taxes? How is the 1099-K to be reconciled with accounting systems which are geared to track sales by product or type, not by payment type? How will one account for fiscal years, when the 1099-K’s will all be on a calendar year? And who is going to pay for the accountant to reconcile all this nonsense?

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