Posted by Chuck on January 21, 2019
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on January 21st, 2019 | by Chuck

209

Which Banks Send Out 1099s for Account Bonuses?

A reader asked us to compile a database of which banks send out Form 1099s for bank bonuses. This is fairly simple: just about all banks send out a Form 1099INT for cash earned from a bank account bonus, as well as for any interest earned on the account. Keep in mind even if no 1099 form is sent out, you are still required to pay taxes and self report.

There may be a few banks who send it out as a Form 1099MISC instead – I recall getting that from one bank bonus – but you should assume any bank bonus will be reported on a tax form and require a tax payment. And, yes, that means bank bonuses aren’t worth their full value, just like any other income, since part goes to the government.

There are a few notes and exceptions to add here:

  • Some readers in the comments here mention that PNC, TD, and Regions don’t send out 1099s. Others did get for those.
  • There was once some Wells Fargo bonuses which were not sending out 1099s. Not sure if that’s still the case on more recent Wells bonuses. One theory there was that a bonus which required debit card usage, Wells does not send a 1099. (There was a similar thing mentioned by one small bank who didn’t send out a 1099 for legit interest earned since it had requirements to earn the interest.)
  • Reader Veronica points out that there have been a few rebate bank bonuses from Slickdeals. Those probably won’t be reported anywhere. There are occasionally rebate bonuses from banks, e.g. get a $100 Visa gift card or toaster. Those might not get a 1099 either. This year, we had the $100 Amazon gift card bonus from Fidelity for spending/investment accounts, and no 1099 is being issued on that.
  • Credit card signup bonuses never get a Form 1099. The reason is twofold: points bonuses aren’t considered taxable; even in the case of cash bonuses, there’s always a minimum spend requirement, and the bonus is considered offsetting the purchase.
  • Citibank sends out a 1099 MISC on bank bonuses that come in the form of ThankYou points since they consider that a cash value, but only if they value your points earnings at $600+. (Even Citi does not send a 1099 on any credit card bonus.)
  • Chase is sending out a Form 1099INT for Ultimate Rewards bonuses received for opening a bank account. Even earnings less than $600 will get the form since they file it as 1099INT which is reportable as little as $10. There were a couple of points checking bonuses offered this year, including the current 60,000 points Sapphire Banking bonus and the expired Chase Ultimate Rewards 30,000 points business checking bonus.
  • For brokerage bonuses, they’ll sometimes send out a 1099MISC, especially for bonuses $600+. My understanding is that most brokerages do not send for less than $600. Technically, it may have to be self-reported, regardless, but I assume most people don’t. A banker once mentioned to me that the brokerage bonus is meant to offset the costs of switching brokerages, so maybe that’s a reason it doesn’t need to be reported.
  • As far as referral bonuses go, generally, banks will send out a 1099MISC if the following two conditions are both met: 1) the bonus is in cash, not points, 2) you got $600+ in bonuses throughout the calendar year. So your standard Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards referral bonus will probably not get a 1099. We wrote some more detail on this in this dedicated post on referral bonuses. UPDATE 1/31/19: Amex is sending out 1099s for bonuses earned on credit card referrals during 2018, even on points bonuses. And now Chase is doing the same. 
  • Tangentially, it’s worth noting that many other businesses offer referral programs, and typically they’ll send out a Form 1099MISC for cash bonuses of $600+ in a single calendar year. Think shopping programs like Ebates and Ibotta. Most people don’t get anywhere near $600 in referrals, but if you do, you’ll likely get an email asking you to fill out a Form W-9 so they can send you a 1099 on the earnings.
  • If anyone is aware of other interesting exceptions to the 1099 rule, let us know and we’ll add it in.

Most banks have an opt-in to get the forms electronically, it’s sometimes the default during signup, I believe. 1099 forms are usually required to be sent out to the consumer by January 31st. Keep a lookout in your inbox by that date for those who do receive electronic 1099s, or check your mailbox for snailmail documents.

RELATED:

Please consult with your tax advisor for tax advice. This article is for informational purposes only.



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Max B
Max B

I received my from Wells Fargo on Friday.

Sam
Sam

Did bonus require debit card usage?
Was 1099 paper or electronic?
INT or MISC?

Ben
Ben

No, paper, int

Sam
Sam

Thx.

Theory
Theory

Not OP, but for my 2018 Wells Fargo bonus, there was no debit card usage requirement, the form was a 1099-INT, and it was a paper form. I got it sometime in the last week.

Daniel
Daniel

Got one for my discover savings bonus last week.

Michael
Michael

I received my 1099 for the basic Chase checking account bonus on Thursday.

Austin
Austin

Anyone get one for BECU?

JZ
JZ

Received mine from Chase, Wells Fargo, US Bank.

Tom
Tom

Got one from Valley National bank even though they retracted my bonus!

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Yikes

JV
JV

If they took the bonus back in the same year, i would imagine that netting it to 0 might be appropriate considering you weren’t able to get the bonus. You could ask them for a correction of the 1099 too.

Tom
Tom

Yes, it was retracted in the same year. I called them and explained the situation and the CSR hung up on me. It certainly felt like to me she did not want to be the one to deal with this.

Celia
Celia

I have a current issue with an incorrect one (income billed and received in 2019 was included on 2018) so I had gone looking for an explanation on what to do:

Disputing an incorrect 1099
If the issuer of an erroneous 1099 refuses to correct its mistake, you’ll need to include an explanation on your tax return and attach documentation in support of your assertion. Let’s say you receive a 1099 showing you were paid $20,000 from a given company, when in reality you were only paid $15,000. You can’t just list that $15,000 on your tax return and call it a day, because the IRS will notice the discrepancy and most likely go after you for the difference. At the same time, you shouldn’t simply pay taxes on an extra $5,000 you never received.

Instead, what you’ll need to do is list the $15,000 but attach a statement explaining the overpayment. That statement should include documentation in support of your claim, such as copies of canceled checks and invoices. You should also include proof that you attempted to reach the issuer, and that the issuer either failed to respond or refused to comply.

While the latter steps clearly require a bit of extra legwork, you’ll need to take them if you want to avoid getting audited or improperly taxed. Unfortunately, when it comes to 1099s, mistakes do happen, but if you don’t address them, you’ll be the one who ultimately loses out.

From Motley Fool.

Ben
Ben

That sounds like a legal admission that you earned the bonus.

Flea
Flea

I would agree, except the bank then said this in group email:

“Recently, we discovered errors on some of the 1099-INT forms related to our Premier Checking Account. If you notice an error on your form or if you received a form when you shouldn’t have, please notify us immediately. Please understand that we are aware of the issue and are working diligently to provide you with a corrected form with accurate information by March 31, 2019.”

Admittedly it’s possible I’m just paranoid, but “received a form when you shouldn’t have”, sounds to me like the “because we’re sticking by you not having truly earned this bonus and we need to strike this 1099 off our books”, is unspoken.

Flea
Flea

Same here, just today – except they only clawed back what I had in my account at the time ($99). Was thinking that I might just put $101 on my taxes, except there’s a branch not too far from my home where I could go and complain, see if they’ll cut me a check for $99… or I could just call it a bad deal, report the whole $200 on my taxes, and try to fly under the radar entirely. It would be a harder pill to swallow if they’d removed the whole thing.

Linda
Linda

U.S Bank sent me a 1099-INT for a checking account bonus last year.

Ben
Ben
Ben
Ben

Received Fifth Third on Tuesday, Citi on Wednesday, and Elements today.

Ben
Ben

Received BB&T today (for $100 Zelle bonus)

Ben
Ben

Received Capital Bank / First Tennesse and Wells Fargo in the mail today (was already able to download these online). Also received one from Republic Bank of Chicago for one of my closed Insight accounts, still waiting on one more.

Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes

Republic Bank of Chicago combined all three of my account’s interest (two closed, one still open) in one 1099.

Ben
Ben

Interesting, did it have multiple account numbers on the 1099 or just one? I had multiple accounts but my 1099 only lists one account.

Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes

It only shows one account number though I don’t show the number they list any where on my account.

They may use some internal account number per person since the total is the exact amount of interest I received for all three accounts.

tuphat
tuphat

The taxation (and reporting) of the bonus is really determined by the type of account for which the bonus is awarded.

For bank deposit accounts, there is longstanding precedent to report the fair market value of ANY bonus paid as INTEREST, regardless of whether the bonus was cash or non-cash, e.g., the proverbial toaster.

For credit cards, there is an IRS ruling that treats rewards for usage as a NONTAXABLE rebate of the purchase price of the goods/services, even though the rebate is being paid by the card issuer vs. the actual seller. That’s also why card issuers effectively base their sign-up bonuses on usage, e.g., spend $X w/i Y months of opening.

For broker bonuses, the industry has essentially adopted 1099-MISC reporting based on the bank deposit account precedent.

Darv
Darv

Where is this precedent documented? If the promotion requires a purchase, the bonus is a rebate. So if a checking promotion requires you to make 10 debit card purchases, like PNC does, it is a rebate. And PNC doesn’t issue a 1099 for that. I suggest to anyone here who does not receive a 1099 for a promotion and if they were required to make a purchase as part of the promotion, do not report it as income.

tuphat
tuphat

The applicable authority on bank account opening bonuses is Rev. Proc. 2000-30. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-00-30.pdf I think you will find that PNC does in fact report the bonus on a 1099-INT. Even if they did not, the rev. proc. says that the bonus is taxable to the recipient.

Darv
Darv

Thanks for the link. However, this does not discuss promotions that include purchase requirements. Nowhere there does it discuss that scenario. Your second statement is factually incorrect. PNC does not issue a 1099 for the Virtual Wallet accounts. Source: after not receiving them two years in a row, and in both cases calling them asking where they are, they said they didn’t send them. Like I’ve mentioned above, I have discussed this matter in detail with a seasoned tax professional working for a large regional firm. Deposit promotions that require purchases are rebates, not income. Whether not that is always recognized by the bank is another matter; some do the right thing and recognize it as rebates (e.g. PNC and Wells Fargo). Others, however, recognize it as income and issue 1099s. Of course, if I receive a 1099, I will report it as income, simply because it’s not worth arguing with the IRS over $50 . That said, since I’m done itemizing, I just might.

brandon r
brandon r

can anyone name any banks that DONT send a 1099-int/misc? off the top of my head, PNC doesn’t send anything. but every other bonus ive done with a bank i think ive received a 1099.

im slowly getting my 2018 forms in now, so will report back if i ultimately dont get one from a bank. but just curious if anyone else knows other banks that dont send aynthing

Novacat05
Novacat05

I heard that TD Bank doesn’t, but that’s only based on comments. I’ll be able to confirm for sure within a couple of weeks as I got a bonus from them last year.

JV
JV

I got a 1099 from TD in 2017, it technically never came in the mail but was on my online account. they told me over the phone the mailed it because i complained and it was difficult to find online.

JV
JV

I got a 2018 1099-INT from PNC for my checking account bonus. You might want to re-check if you earned a PNC bonus. Maybe on your online profile to download?

Shaun
Shaun

I have a 1099-INT for PNC in my online account, dated 1/20/2019. It’s weird that it only has the ~$10 in interest from the Virtual Wallet account. It didn’t include the checking bonus I received in November.

Adam
Adam

Did your PNC 1099-INT include all of the bonus money, or just regular interest? And did your bonus require debit card transactions?

Brea
Brea

Both my husband & I did not get a 1099-INT from PNC for 2018. I did an online chat and the rep told me that my interest was $.03, which is less than the $10 required to trigger a 1099-INT. I asked if the sign on bonus that I received should be counting toward interest, and I was told no, that it doesn’t count toward interest.

nick
nick

regions and TD don’t

MJ
MJ

I’m holding my 1099-INT from Regions in my hand right now from the $200 bonus I received last year…..

Darv
Darv

Sure. PNC, Associated Bank, TCF Bank, and depending on the promotion, Wells Fargo (if the bonus includes a purchase requirement in which case it is not income but rather a rebate).

Gadget
Gadget

Associated, Cap One 360, FNB PA, Regions, Suntrust, TD Bank MAY not. Still taxable.

MJ
MJ

I’m holding my Suntrust personal $500 1099-MISC and their business $200 1099-MISC, along with Regions $200 1099-INT, in my hands right now… My spouse who only did the Suntrust $500 has NOT received their 1099-MISC (yet?), so maybe I only did because my total Suntrust pay-out was >$600 ($500+$200=$700)?…

Gadget
Gadget

Re: Suntrust: I said MAY not. At that moment, I was speaking for past years for myself or S.O.. But I am glad you got yours in your hand. I bet your spouse never gets one from Suntrust. And if you call, I bet they will tell you she/he didn’t meet the threshold.

Someone on Reddit said TD bank sends them… ok, so be it.

I haven’t tallied this year, who has and hasn’t… because I always end up waiting for some of the brokerages, and my measly refund isn’t motivating me to file early.

I imagine this thread will run quite strong over the next several weeks. Not sure what the point is… I’d rather focus on finding new taxable income than dwelling on which banks sent 1099’s. The consensus is clear – bank bonuses are taxed. What did people do before the internet?… They gathered their paperwork and filed. Do your due diligence and keep records, ask questions to the different banks if you have doubt, and get things done.

The funniest thing that happened so far this year is BBVA sent two INT’s to each myself and SO, for separate promos. That’s just stupid when they should have been combined.

Darv
Darv

The bill payments that Associated Bank requires might be considered purchases. If they are purchases, then the promotion is a rebate, not income.

Jason
Jason

Some of them will not send you one if you earn too little interest. E.g. Amex won’t send you one unless you earn at least $10 in interest in a calendar year.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Has anyone received a citizens bank 10099?

Scott
Scott

I just got one from Citizen’s Bank. $200 for the checking and $50 for activating and using online bill pay.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Thanks

Veronica
Veronica

Has anyone received anything from Umpqua? Bonus was paid from slickdeals, not sure if a 1099 is being issued.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Has nothing to do with Umpqua, since Slickdeals is the one paying you. Up to you if you want to report it! I generally like to pay as least as possible to the government. If you feel so inclined you can pay taxes on it. You will not receive a 1099 from them.

JV
JV

Most of the portal earnings should be considered a rebate like credit card points. At least that is the way i treat them. For non-purchase earnings from these sites, I count as income (referral, contest, games, etc). Might be incorrect, but it is my tax stance that i have used for many years.

Michael
Michael

Assume they still send one even if you have closed your account? Got a BOA bonus but closed my account and I’m unable to get anything online (checking account completely removed from my online account)

IS250
IS250

When reporting taxes, do you lump all your interest together as one sum or do you individually list out each bank and their respective bonuses amount/TIN #?

Matthew Greer
Matthew Greer

Should report all banks separately by TIN#. You may get multiple accounts on a single 1099 if you have multiple accounts w/ the same bank (i.e. AAA, regular & AAII discover accounts or receive a checking bonus and have savings account interest)

Ann
Ann

For any banks that you don’t receive a 1099-INT from but want to report, at least in the desktop (CD/download) version of H&R Block software, you do not have to know/provide the bank’s TIN/EIN, just the bank’s name is fine. I do this for banks that I get small amounts of interest from but not enough for them to generate a 1099-INT. I haven’t run into a limit on these line items, but there might be some high limit.

For 1099-MISCs, the software does require the TIN/EIN, but you can enter non-self-employment 1099-MISC-type income without receiving a 1099-MISC as a generic other/misc income line item without needing the TIN/EIN. You can only have a few line items of this type, I think the limit was 3 or 4, so you have to summarize/combine.

Gadget
Gadget

People use desktop programs? I thought everything is cloud or web-based. 🙂 What’s a CD?

Seriously though, I have listed each bank no problem on web based versions of Intuit TurboTax and H&R Block in prior years without EIN/TIN data. Not sure of the line limit either, but if I did hit it, I would combine the smallest and rename the line. Aim for accuracy, but accept some anomaly.

Celia
Celia

With the ever increasing hacks, I never trust my taxes housed on company servers. Those contain every bit of information on my family. I encrypt even the info on my computer.

Ann
Ann

The desktop versions provide more features in lower-priced versions than the online equivalents do. And there are some things you can do with the desktop versions that you can’t do at all in even the most expensive tier online.

Jason
Jason

I’m not a tax professional, but I have my taxes done by one and he’s always told me to just sum up all 1099 income onto a single line and to just keep the documentation somewhere safe in case I should ever get made to produce it.

Gadget
Gadget

Probably very sound advice. I am very particular, and list every bank, even if it was less than $10 and get it off my annual statement. I hope someone does look and see that BofA paid me 10 cents interest! But the sheer amount of returns that need to be processed says that very few are ever QA’ed, let alone audited. If you are near the projected amounts of income/interest/deductions, based on the data they have, almost certain yours is a “PASS”. If you win a million and don’t claim it, expect issues. 99.99% of us aren’t in those shoes.

Snorlax
Snorlax

You’ll list each out on your Schedule B (interest and ordinary dividends)

Saturn
Saturn

There were people who received 1099s from Chase last year for a CIC bonus. That may have happened by mistake, but it seemed to affect only cc’s that are categorized as cashback cards.

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