A Complete Idiot's Guide To Your 1099

Welcome to “A Complete Idiot’s Guide” where you will be guided by me, a complete idiot. This week? The mysterious 1099. Fun fact: 1099 was the year the form was instituted by the U.S. Government and that’s where the name comes from. This is an income tax form you need to keep for your records. If you don’t have any records you can also use it to clean cassette tapes and CDs, so don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. You might be wondering what all of the boxes mean? Well, I would be happy to provide you with that information below.

LEFT SIDE: As we know from the 2000 box office smash Remember the Titans, the left side is the strong side. Also, your basic information is here on the left side.

Tip: follow the instructions and make sure there is an apt number of “street addresses” listed.

1.)   Rents: This is slang for parents. Just write “yes or no”

2.)   Royalties:  This is what some might call a “portmanteau,” which is when two words are fused together for the sake of a Lewis Carroll novel or Gawker headline. This box indicates how much money you spent defending your loyalties in last year’s Royal Wedding. For instance, I spent $75 dollars on scented markers for a poster that said “Go William!” Considering he won that wedding in a landslide, I think we can all agree that was money well spent.

3.)   Other income: However much money you made playing an “other” on ABC’s Lost.

4.)   Federal income tax withheld: This is the amount of money the government took out of your paycheck to pay for their taxes. It’s difficult to understand because it’s written in Old English. Can you imagine if we still used words like “withheld” today?

5.)   Fishing Boat Proceeds: This number should equal the correct number of times a hypothetical procession of fishing boats proceeds to circle your money without getting stuck in any kind of reef or debris. This does not apply if you don’t have floating money yet. (But what are you waiting for?!)

6.)   Medical and healthcare payments: The amount of money you spent on medical procedures for you or any of your pets.

7.)   Nonemployee compensation: Money you paid throughout the year to any nonemployees. This includes: waiters, camels, childhood friends or anyone who owns their own business.

8.)   Substitute payments in lieu of dividends or interest: You probably don’t know this but “lieu” is the British word for toilet. So, this would be anytime you paid a substitute teacher to go to the toilet because you were not interested in what was going on.

9.)   Payer made direct sales of $5,000 or more of consumer products to a buyer (recipient) for resale: I know what this means, but I’m not going to tell you because I think it would be better if you learned about it on your own.

10.) Crop insurance proceeds: This is how many times you cropped your insurance proceeds out of Facebook pictures.

11.) and 12.) These are left blank to encourage you to make up your own numbers.

13.) Excess golden parachute payments: This is the amount of money you spent in the last year    tailoring your golden parachute. This includes the removal of the excess material and having it turned into a killer bedspread.

14.) Gross proceeds paid to an attorney: The number here signifies any completely disgusting payments you made to a lawyer for any reason.

15a.) and 15b.) Section 409A Deferrals and section 409A income: These are just typos.

16.) State tax withheld: More Old English, but pretty self-explanatory: just state the amount of tax you want held.

17. State/Payer’s state no.: State the payers and then state “no.” If you do not write “no” you will have to pay, so be careful.

18. State income: The income of the entire state in which you live, in my case that is New York, which is probably at least a few million. New York has its hands in a lot of different cookie jars. As everyone knows, cookies are expensive so it must do something to pay for them. I usually just put “a lot.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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