Reflecting on the 1099 filing season

IRS Form 1099 procedures are not overly complicated either in theory or in practice but are perhaps the most widely misunderstood topic in US taxation today. Reading online comments and suggestions and many stories of misapplication, it is clear that the government has much work ahead before it can effectively utilize business reporters’ information returns for its purposes of taxing non-wage income.

From the other angle, I suspect that an average tax practitioner can gain a working knowledge by reading through, perhaps a few times, the 12 page instructions at But heck, who has time for that?