A 1099 form is a form that a publisher must give to an author so that both can properly report their incomes to the IRS. Put simply, the IRS.gov says that companies must “File this form for each person to whom you have paid various income during the year.” That includes authors, artists, editors and anybody else that a company has paid for work.
Amazon, Kindle, Nook, and every other publishing entity in the country sends out 1099 forms. Even Ebay. And you won’t get just one 1099-MISC from Amazon. Nope. You’ll get one for your ebook sales from Kindle Direct Publishing and you’ll get a separate 1099 from CreateSpace. You’ll get one from every single source that published your book.
Or, rather, your publisher will. For past sales, they did. In turn, the publisher is supposed to send out the same form to people THEY have paid.
I recently asked for a head count as to how many authors victims of a certain scam publisher received a 1099 form during the time they were contracted. Not one stepped forward and said that they had. That’s tax fraud. Not on your part, but hers.
Authors, if you’re not longer dealing with that scam publisher (and if you’re smart, you’re not), you can contact createspace/Amazon/Lightning Source/smashwords, etc, and find out how many copies of your book have sold since it was first published by that fraud.
If even ONE book sold and you didn’t get paid for it, that’s theft. If she hasn’t waited you out past the statute of limitations, you can report her to her local District Attorney, Attorney General. And if you find that any copies have sold without your knowledge since after you parted company, you can also turn her in to the FBI for piracy. I’ve posted links before. You can find them HERE.
The point of this post, however, is taxes. Reporting them, specifically.
If you got paid even a single dime by that scheming fraud, by some miracle, and didn’t receive a 1099 tax form, your publisher is guilty of tax fraud. You can, and should, turn them in to the IRS for it. It’s easy. Print out this form, fill it out and mail it in. If you need more space to explain everything that happened to you at the hands of that scam publisher, type up a statement and attach it. Simple as that.
Whether it happened last week or three years ago, it still counts. She might be able to wait you out on the statute of limitations for theft, but she can’t outrun the IRS the same way. Their interest is keen, and their memories long. And now, offenses are cumulative. They add up. So she can’t slide on the fact that she scams low numbers from people. They add ’em up, now. So don’t let her tell you that there’s nothing they can do to her because she scammed you out of an amount that’s “too small for them to bother with.” That’s what she’d like you to think. Remember who we’re talking about, here. She wants you to think whatever benefits her, and screws you. Don’t settle for that. Stand up and show her that you’re not falling for her noise any more.
And don’t worry about getting in trouble yourself. You’re not the one that did anything wrong. You’re the one that’s trying to set it straight.
A fraud will only keep scamming new victims as long as the old ones permit it. YOU have the power to shut down that thief. So what are you waiting for?