If your 1099-NEC has an amount in box 1 (Nonemployee compensation), the payer did not consider you an employee. Instead, they're treating you as a self-employed worker, also called an independent contractor.
Common examples of nonemployee compensation
- Payments to an independent contractor, consultant, freelancer, or other independent worker
- Commissions paid to a nonemployee salesperson
- Director fees
- Exchanges of services between individuals in the course of their trade or business
- Witness or expert witness fees
If you feel the payer incorrectly reported your income in box 1 on Form 1099-NEC, contact them directly. If an error was made, they'll issue you a corrected Form 1099-NEC and also refile the form with the IRS.