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Old 02-03-2010, 10:24 AM
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Timing of Income Received

I am a consultant and just received a 1099-MISC from my client. It is approximately $50,000 more than I was expecting, due to the fact that they sent three payments just before the end of the year (Checks were dated 12/30/09) that I received in January of 2010.

My question is, when is this payment considered received, when they printed the check or when I received it in the mail?



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Old 02-03-2010, 12:04 PM
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The answer to your question is provided in the constructive receipt doctrine of the IRS. It states that income is reportable when you physically receive the payment or the check is delivered to you constructively, that is the check would be in your hand, but you have not deposited the check!

As far you are concerned, you should report the entire amount that is included in the 1099-Misc as total income received. But, you should also include a category of expense, called "income included in 1099-Misc but not received in 2009" and show the difference. This is because the check was not delivered to you prior to 12/31/09. That should be fine.

You would not have to pay tax on monies that you have not received in 2009! That would not be fair to you and the IRS recognizes this fact, a lot of IT companies and Corporations that use independent contractors have a practice of mailing checks on or before 12/31/09 to claim the deduction, and sometimes they even mail the checks after the 2nd of January of the following tax year! So, do not worry this is fairly common practice and the IRS will not penalize you for not claiming this income.

But, it is important to match the 1099-Misc income amount to your Schedule C gross income received or else it could trigger a Red Flag. The best practice is to match the 1099-Misc Income and then show an adjustment for the income not received in 2009.

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Old 02-04-2010, 08:14 AM
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Thanki you for that very helpful, timely, and thorough answer!



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