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1099 Required for a $50 Refer-a-friend Bonus?

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Question: 
We are trying to develop a Refer-a-friend program. We will offer a $50 bonus" for referring customer and a $50 bonus for the referred customer once the account is opened with direct deposit and they use a debit card a predetermined number of times in 60 days. We have a third party company that tracks referrals and bonuses which is trying to tell me I don't have to 1099 anyone because we're not paying the bonus at account opening - we're paying the bonus for meeting the qualifications of the program. Is a 1099 required for a $50 refer-a-friend bonus?
Answer: 

This sort of payment is not interest and would fall under the reporting requirements of the 1099MISC, which has a cumulative threshold of $600

First published on 08/30/2020

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