E-Filing Forms with IRS FIRE System

If you need to file Forms 1096, 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, or W-2G with the IRS, you may have the option to file them electronically using the FIRE (Filing Information Returns Electronically) System.

The IRS requires e-filing if you need to file 250 or more information returns. They also encourage filers to e-file even if they need to file fewer than 250 returns.

What is the FIRE System? 

Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) is the online tool/system that is used to transmit information returns and automatic extension requests to the IRS. This system is used primarily for sending 1099s (like 1099-DIV, 1099-INT, 1099-MISC, 1099-NEC and others) to the IRS. This system is also used for filing automatic extensions for most 1099 form types.

What is needed to transmit files through the FIRE System?

  • Apply for an Information Returns (IR) Application for Transmitter Control Code (TCC)
  • Software which meet the requirements and record layout provided in Publication 1220.
  • Establish a FIRE account
  • Submit test files to the FIRE Test System

What is a TCC?

A TCC is a Tranmitter Control Code, which is required to e-file certain form types with the IRS. The TCC is used to identify the transmitter for filed information returns.

What if I have multiple types of forms to file?

The 250-form threshold rule applies separately to each type of form. This includes originals and corrections. For example, an employer with several locations sharing the same EIN must add the total volume of returns for each type and apply the filing requirements accordingly.

E-filing Due Dates and Extensions

Each form has its own defined due date. If you are not sure of the filing due date for one of the forms mentioned above, then check the IRS instructions for that form type to verify.

The IRS will typically extend the filing deadline to the next business day if the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

You can e-file a 30-day extension of time to file information returns. If you need a second extension of time, you must submit the request on a paper form. Review our article, IRS Extensions, for more information about certain filing extensions.

Waivers

Employers may be able to waive their requirements to e-file. They will need to file form 8508, Request for Waiver from Filing Information Returns Electronically, with the IRS. This includes both original and corrected forms. The IRS evaluates waivers on a case-by-case basis. A waiver does not exempt you from filing your returns. The exemption is only valid for the for the current tax year.

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