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Understanding Your Tax Obligations as an Independent Worker in Pittsburgh

The gig economy is growing rapidly and Pittsburgh is no exception, with more and more independent workers finding ways to earn money. It can be a great way to supplement your income, but understanding your tax obligations is crucial. If you live in the Pittsburgh area and have earned more than $600 from any of your independent work activities, you may need to file a 1099 form.

What Exactly Is a 1099 Form?

When you work as an employee, your employer withholds taxes from each paycheck. However, when you work independently and receive payments of more than $600, you may need to file a 1099 form. Form 1099, known officially as the “Miscellaneous Income” form, is used to report any income received by an individual that is not otherwise reported as part of their W-2 wages or self-employment income.

A 1099 form must be filed if you receive more than $600 from independent activities such as:

? Freelancing
? Contract labor
? Rental income
? Royalty payments
? Prizes and awards
? Gambling winnings
? Jury duty pay

How to Prepare for Tax Time?

If you need to file a 1099 form, the first step is to keep accurate financial records and receipts throughout the year. This includes keeping track of any payments received and amounts spent on related expenses such as supplies or business travel. It’s also important to plan ahead for the upcoming tax season by setting aside money to cover taxes owed. This will help ensure that you avoid any penalties when it comes time to file your taxes.

When Should You File a 1099?

You should file a 1099 form by January 31st for the prior tax year if any of the above criteria are met. It’s important to note that in addition to filing a 1099 for any independent money earned over $600, you must also submit the form to the IRS and anyone who paid you during the year. Filing requirements vary depending on individual circumstances, so it’s important to check with a local tax professional or research the IRS website for filing requirements specific to your situation.

How Can You File a 1099?

You can file electronically or by paper form via mail. It can be easier and quicker to file electronically; however, keep in mind that filing electronically requires a valid Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN). If the individual who paid you does not have a valid SSN or EIN listed on your pay stubs or other documents, then you cannot file electronically. In this case, it is necessary to complete the paper version of Form 1099-MISC and send it in via mail.


Filing taxes can be complicated for independent workers in Pittsburgh and understanding your tax obligations is essential for avoiding penalties or audits. If you’ve earned over $600 from an independent activity in the past year, then filing a 1099 form is necessary. Knowing how much money has been earned and how much tax is owed throughout the year will help make tax time less stressful. Staying diligent with paperwork will help ensure accuracy when filing taxes and will enable you to get back any money you’re entitled to from the IRS if applicable.

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