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Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE)

An information return is a tax document used to report certain types of payments made by financial institutions and others who make payments as part of their trade or business as required by Internal Revenue Code Regulations. Information returns are filed electronically via the FIRE (Filing Information Returns Electronically) system. The following information returns can be filed electronically: Forms 1042-S, 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8027, 8935, 8955-SSA, and W-2G.


ALERT! If outside of the United States please fax correspondence using fax number 1-304-579-4105.  

FIRE Test Link

The FIRE Test System will be available on January 6, 2014.

FIRE Production link

Due to the recent announcement by the Internal Revenue Service, IR-2013-100, the opening date of the FIRE Production System will change from January 21, 2014, to February 3, 2014.

  • Filers who need to submit Form 8955-SSA with an extended due date of January 15, 2014, must submit their form on paper to avoid being late.  No additional extensions will be granted.  Filers who need to submit Form 8955-SSA with an original due date of January 31, 2014, can get an automatic 2 ½ month extension by submitting Form 5558 before January 31, 2014.
  • Requests for an extension of time beyond January 31, 2014, to provide recipient copies of their Forms 1098 series, 1099 series, 3921, 3922, W-2G and W-2, can be made through the FIRE Production System February 3 through February 5, 2014.  The Service will not impose information return penalties for failure to furnish payee statements by the January 31, 2014 due date if the extension request is received by February 5, 2014.  Extensions granted pursuant to this request will not exceed 30 days from January 31, 2014.
  •  If you choose to file an extension of time to provide recipient copies via a paper request, it should be faxed or mailed on or before January 31, 2014.  Fax requests to 877-477-0572 or 304-579-4105 (International) or mail to: 

                    Internal Revenue Service 

                    240 Murall Drive, MS 4360

                    Kearneysville, WV 25430

  •   Any requests with a later due date of January 31, 2014 must be filed on or before the respective due date.



IRS is providing layout and record specifications for 2013 for following: 

  • Publication 1220 Specifications for Electronic Filing of Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8935, and W-2G
  • Publications 1239, Specifications for Electronic Filing of Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips
  • Publication 1187,   Specifications for Electronic Filing of Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding 
  • Publication 1516,   Specifications for Electronic Filing of Forms 8596, Information Returns for Federal Contracts  
  • Publication 4810   Specifications for Electronic Filing of Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement of Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits


FIRE System Record Layout Specification and Publication Updates 12/16/2013

FIRE System Record layout Specification and Publication Update 02/18/2014

Who Can Participate?

The law requires any corporation, partnership, employer, estate and/or trust, who is required to file 250 or more information returns for any calendar year, must file electronically.  However, if filers have less than 250 information returns, IRS encourages them to file those returns electronically as well.


How to Participate

The most efficient way to submit an application to file information returns electronically is to submit the fill-in Form 4419 from the FIRE homepage at http:/ You may also go to Forms and Publications and select the paper version of Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically.  Be sure to submit your application at least 30 days prior to the due date of your information returns.

FIRE System

The FIRE system is available for electronic submissions 24 hours daily with the exception of:

  • FIRE system will be down from 6 p.m.(EST) December 13, 2013 through February 2, 2014 for yearly updates.
  • FIRE Test system is available from November 13, 2013 through February 28, 2014 but Test will also be down from 6 p.m. (EST) December 13, 2013 through January 5, 2014 for yearly updates.
  • FIRE and FIRE Test systems may be down every Wednesday from 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. (EST) for programming updates.


Available Assistance

Assistance is available Monday through Friday, year-round to payers, transmitters, and employers for the following issues:

  • Electronic, paper filing, and tax law questions from the payer community related to the correct preparation and filing of business information returns (Forms 1096, 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8027, 8596, 8935 and W-2G).
  • Questions related to electronic filling of Form 1042-S and 8955-SSA.
  • Tax law and paper filing instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3
  • Notice CP2100, Backup Withholding Notice
  • CP 972CG, Notice of Proposed Civil Penalty, reasonable cause requirements due to missing and incorrect Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs).

Contact the IRS at 1-866-455-7438 (outside the U.S. 1-304-263-8700), or call 1-304-579-4827 for Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD).



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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 08-Sep-2014