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.
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
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:/fire.irs.gov. You may also go to www.irs.gov 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.
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 January 20, 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 20, 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.
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).