Businesses (employers) use the 1099 MISC form when paying freelance workers or contractors (such as a consultant). The 1099 MISC forms are used only when you are in business, when you practice trade. They are not for reporting personal payments. Note that non-profit organizations are considered to be "in business" and thus are subject to using this form. In 2011, there has been a change to the use of the 1099-MISC form. This change involves new circumstances that require use of the form. You now must file a 1099 Miscellaneous income form for each individual or entity that you have paid any of the following items to during the year:
The above bullets have been excerpted from the IRS.gov website.
There are several exceptions that do NOT require the 1099 MISC form, which are viewable on the IRS website. Be careful not to use the MISC form when another more specific 1099 form applies. These variations of the 1099 form are listed in this article library - just view the article titled, When to file a 1099 form.
All of these forms can be found here on eFileMyForms, where it's easy and inexpensive to file all of your tax forms throughout the year.