Top 8 IRS AIR Test Scenario XML ISS-UI Sample Files Covering All Scenarios

Updated: 1/8/2024

As part of our continued commitment to give back to the small business community, we have open sourced our IRS AIR Test Scenario XML files going all the way back to Tax Year 2016. These files can be used as part of passing IRS testing for the AATS ISS-UI and AATS A2A system.

IRS AIR Test Scenario XML Sample Files

To download the scenarios, you’ll want to first create or login to your BoomTax account.

Creating an account is 100% free, takes less than 30 seconds, and BoomTax will never spam you.

After you’ve done this, you can download the test scenarios here:


What About the Corrected Scenarios?

These are included! Just look for the ‘C’ in the scenario name (for example ‘2C-0’).

Recommended Use of IRS AIR Test Scenario Files

Now that you have the test scenario files, what is the next step?

If you have built your own system for generating manifest and transmittal XML files, we recommend creating your XML in your system, then getting a tool to run a difference report (also called a diff) to compare the 2 versions. This will visually show you what is different between the official specifications and your system output. We recommend getting your output as close to the sample files as possible (down to the character if possible).

Test Scenario Formatting

The IRS is very particular about the formatting for the transmittal and manifest files. To help prevent common XML injection attacks, the IRS disallows the following characters (and provides an HTML escaped alternative for each as follows):

IRS XML Allowable Characters
Allowable characters and their alternatives for the IRS AIR XML format

If your data has these disallowed characters in them, (e.g. a company name like A&B Company) you’ll want to transform this to A&B Company.

Most IRS AIR XML file formats aren’t sensitive to element sequencing (or the order in which XML elements appear), but the IRS format is sensitive to this. This means that if an element (like Timestamp) comes before another element in the specification, you should assume that these elements must be in this order. Mixing up the order of elements could lead to a file rejection.

Best Practices

We recommend reviewing the .XSD files provided by the IRS to determine what is allowed for each field in the manifest and transmittal. From here, you can scrub and truncate your data field by field to ensure your formatting doesn’t run afoul of the IRS rules. After you’ve sanitized your data using the official IRS specifications, we recommend you run your finished XML files through an XML validation tool that points to the official IRS schemas. This will ensure that your file formatting 100% matches what the IRS expects to see and passes all built-in tests at the file level.

What about the IRS AIR A2A System?

The test scenario files can also be used for testing against the IRS A2A system submissions. Keep in the mind that the file specifications between the ISS-UI and A2A systems are identical, the only difference being that there is additional markup included around the transmittal (via MIME parts) and manifest (via the SOAP envelope) when submitting via the A2A channel.

My Test File Doesn’t Work, I’m Getting Errors, Help!

Reach out to our experts to help get you squared away. We were among the very first organizations to receive ACA filing approval way back in 2015 and we’ve helped hundreds of businesses since then take care of their ACA filing obligations.

What’s Next?

Once you’re at the point where you’ve passed testing, you’ll want to get familiar with the most common errors produced by the IRS AIR system.


BoomTax, The Boom Post, and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors prior to engaging in any transaction.

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1 thought on “Top 8 IRS AIR Test Scenario XML ISS-UI Sample Files Covering All Scenarios”

  1. Thanks for the samples but when I tried to transmit them to IRS I got following error: You have selected to transmit a Form file with an invalid character in the file name. Please rename the ACA Form file and try again (e.g. 1094B_Request_BB000_20140101T010102000Z.xml).

    do you know how can I fix this

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