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What is "Account Number" in 1099-MISC & 1099-NEC forms?

When filling out a 1099-MISC or 1099-NEC form, there is an account number field located on the bottom left section of both forms. This account number is a code unique to the form and recipient and is chosen or created by you.

The account number can be a bank account number, a serial code, or a unique number that you make up as long as it meets the criteria:

  • It is within 20 characters long, and can include any combination of alpha (a, b, c, etc.), numeric (1, 2, 3, etc.), and special (!, @, &, etc.) characters.
  • The account number is not and cannot be a taxpayer identification number (TIN), a Social Security Number (SSN) or an employer identification number (EIN). This is because the account number cannot be listed anywhere else on the form you are filing.   

The account number is used by the IRS to identify the form and the recipient you are filing for. So if you are filing multiple 1099-MISC or 1099-NEC for the same recipient, different account numbers will be required to help indicate that they are not the same form.

For example, if you are filing two separate 1099-NEC forms for "John Smith" (perhaps for two separate jobs) - the first 1099-NEC account number can be "111" and the second can be "222". The key thing to make sure is that each form has a different account number. That way, if you file a correction for one of these forms, the IRS will be able to match the account number on the corrected form to the number on the original form. Following the same example above, if I am filing a correction for the second 1099-NEC form, I would use the account number "222" in my correction form.