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Understanding Tax Information Reporting Requirements for Payments Into a Qualified Settlement Fund

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Tax information reporting is essential to compliance with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations. It ensures accurate income reporting and facilitates the proper allocation of tax liabilities. In this guide, we will explore the requirements for furnishing employer identification numbers (EINs) and the On-Line Taxpayer Identification Number Matching Program (TIN Matching Program) administered by the IRS. We will also delve into how these requirements relate to payments made to a qualified settlement fund (QSF) to gain a thorough understanding of tax information reporting related to a QSF and the related exemptions which eliminate the requirement for 1099-Misc reporting of payments to a QSF.

General Rules Regarding EINs and Information Reporting

Let’s start with the general rules surrounding EINs and information reporting to establish a solid foundation. Section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code and the Treasury Regulations provide the framework for issuing tax identification numbers and furnishing them to other parties. An EIN is a unique identifier for U.S. persons, which includes domestic trusts and corporations. When making a return, every U.S. person must furnish their own identifying number as required by the IRS forms and accompanying instructions. If another person requires the TIN, you must provide such upon request – utilizing IRS Form W-9 is the preferred method.

Section 6041 of the Internal Revenue Code outlines payment information reporting requirements. This section stipulates that persons engaged in a trade or business making payments over $600 in a taxable year must furnish an information return to the IRS. However, payments made to domestic corporations are generally exempt from the information reporting requirement, with a few exceptions outlined in the IRS’ 2022 Instructions for Form 1099-MISC. For example, businesses or individuals making payments for the purchase of fish for resale, medical and health care payments, substitute payments in lieu of dividends or tax-exempt interests, and gross proceeds paid to an attorney are reportable on Form 1099-MISC.

General QSF Information Reporting Requirements

QSFs operate to resolve or satisfy liabilities, and as previously noted, the amounts transferred to a QSF are not includable in the fund’s gross income. For income tax purposes, a QSF is taxable as a corporation, and payments to a QSF are classified as payments to a corporation[i] for information (1099) reporting purposes.

Considering the general information reporting rules, payments made to a QSF to settle a claim are not reportable on Form 1099-MISC. This reporting exemption is because such payments are excluded from the QSF’s gross income and are not subject to the reporting requirements of Section 6041. Additionally, Form 1099-MISC only requires reporting specific payments to corporations, such as (i) cash payments for the purchase of fish for resale, (ii) medical and health care payments, (iii) substitute payments in lieu of dividends or tax-exempt interests, and (iv) gross proceeds paid directly to an attorney. Therefore, payments made to a QSF do not fall under these categories and do not require 1099-MISC reporting.

In summary, there is no requirement for a payor to consider the payments to a QSF as reportable income or subject to Backup Withholding. Correspondingly, there are no requirements for a payor to issue a 1099-MISC; thus, the TIN Matching Program is not applicable.

Detailed QSF Exemptions From Reporting, Backup Withholding, and TIN Matching Requirements

It’s important to note that there are NO information reporting requirements for payments expressly excluded from the recipient’s gross income. For instance, when a QSF is involved, the QSF administrator is solely responsible for tax reporting associated with such payments and distributions from the QSF. Therefore, the defendant making payments from the QSF to a recipient, such as a claimant or attorney, has no obligation to file an information return; specifically, no 1099-MISC is required. Correspondingly, there is no Backup Withholding, and no TIN Matching is required.

Tip – Settlement Payments into a QSF are not taxable as §1.468B-2(b) excludes from the definition of Modified Gross Income the amounts transferred to satisfy the settlement/order liability.

(b) Modified gross income. The “modified gross income” of a qualified settlement fund is its gross income, as defined in section 61, computed with the following modifications—
(1) In general, amounts transferred to the qualified settlement fund by, or on behalf of, a transferor to resolve or satisfy a liability for which the fund is established are excluded from gross income. However, dividends on stock of a transferor (or a related person), interest on debt of a transferor (or a related person), and payments in compensation for late or delayed transfers, are not excluded from gross income.

Accordingly, as the settlement payments are not taxable to the QSF, there are no circumstances whereby any 1099-Misc reporting requirement or any associated applicable Backup Withholding is applicable. Thus, there is no need for any TIN Matching in any circumstances associated with QSFs.

Tip – It is improper for the transferor (payors) into a QSF to perform any look-through 1099-Misc reporting requirement or associated applicable Backup Withholding. To perform such would result in willful inaccurate/double income reporting violating the code.

The TIN Matching Program and Why It Does Not Apply to QSFs

There is no TIN Matching requirement for QSFs as there is no tax liability to the QSF for the defendant’s settlement/award payment as provided for in §1.468B-2(b).

Since the IRS’ TIN Matching Program only applies to assist payors filing Form 1099 associated with taxable income, a QSF payor has no Backup Withholding or payee certification via TIN Matching obligations. As stated, the payments received by a QSF are not taxable income, and there is no 1009-MISC reporting requirement. Therefore, a QSF is not subject to Backup Withholding as the settlement/award payment is not taxable income to the QSF; and hence, there is no 1099-MISC or payee certification via TIN Matching obligation.

Tip – Caution should be given to not confuse the requirements of other types of payments as opposed to payments to QSFs. Note that in addition to the stated exemptions for QSFs, Backup Withholding and payee certification via TIN Matching are moot for payments arising from personal injury claims (§104(a)(2)) as the underlying settlement/claims are non-taxable and, as such, there could never be any applicable 1099-MISC reporting requirement or Backup Withholding in any circumstances.

Defendants asserting the requirement for 1099-MISC reporting or payee certification via TIN Matching are operating outside the applicable code. Such payors are implementing unnecessary and undefendable processes, which only serve the purpose of delaying funding the QSF and fulfilling their payment obligations.

Additionally, for payments to a QSF, the TIN Matching Program is not applicable since the QSF administrator (§1.468B-2(l)(2) see endnotes), is responsible for the entirety of the tax reporting, including but not limited to all applicable 1099 reporting and Backup Withholding associated with payments from a QSF to claimants.


To avoid bad faith payment delays, payors should understand the rules and requirements surrounding EINs, W-9s, information reporting, the TIN Matching Program, and the exemptions applicable to QSFs. By adhering to these regulations, businesses can ensure compliance and not gratuitously impose processes outside the code’s requirements which artificially delay payment of settlement/award obligations and which may result in additional liabilities.

i 1.468B-2

(1) Information reporting and withholding requirements—(1) Payments to a qualified settlement fund. Payments to a qualified settlement fund are treated as payments to a corporation for purposes of the information reporting requirements of part III of subchapter A of chapter 61 of the Internal Revenue Code.

(2) Payments and distributions by a qualified settlement fund—(i) In general. Payments and distributions by a qualified settlement fund are subject to the information reporting requirements of part III of subchapter A of chapter 61 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code), and the withholding requirements of subchapter A of chapter 3 of subtitle A and subtitle C of the Code.

(ii) Special rules. The following rules apply with respect to payments and distributions by a qualified settlement fund—

(A) A qualified settlement fund must make a return for, or must withhold tax on, a distribution to a claimant if one or more transferors would have been required to make a return or withhold tax had that transferor made the distribution directly to the claimant;

Disclosure: This content is an overview. It is not a detailed analysis and offers no legal or tax opinion on which you should solely rely. Always seek the advice of competent legal and tax advisors to review your specific facts and circumstances before making any decisions or relying on the content herein.
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