Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE)
What is an information return?
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. Forms 1042-S, 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8027, 8955-SSA, and W-2G may be filed electronically via the FIRE system. Forms 1095 are filed through the Affordable Care Act Information Return (AIR) system.
Who can participate?
Anyone with a FIRE Transmitter Control Code (TCC) who is required to submit the information returns listed above (except Forms 1095) can file electronically through FIRE. 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. IRS encourages filers who have less than 250 information returns to file electronically as well.
What are the benefits of electronic filing?
By transmitting your Information Returns through the FIRE system, your files are processed faster with fewer errors. Listed below are a few benefits of electronic filing
- FIRE can accept multiple files for the same type of return.
- Combined Federal/State Filing Program (CF/SF) is available for participating states.
- Fill-in Forms are available for Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) and Form 8809, Extension of Time to File Information Returns.
How to transmit through FIRE
A TCC is required to transmit information returns through the FIRE system. The most efficient way to submit an application to file information returns electronically is to submit the Fill-in Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE), from the FIRE home page. You may also go to Forms and Pubs and select the paper version of Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE). Be sure to submit your application at least 45 days prior to the due date of your information returns.
Your FIRE TCC will be deleted if you don’t file any of the above information returns (except Form 1095) for two consecutive tax years. Once deleted from our database, you will need to submit another Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE).
ALERT! Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) [Rev. 6-2015] posted to www.irs.gov/Forms-&-Pubs with the following updates:
- Added checkbox to indicate a Revised Form 4419 and a box to provide the current Transmitter Control Code (TCC)
- Box 8 – Removed questions pertaining to the use of software or a software provider
- Box 8 – Added checkbox to confirm applicant has read the affidavit and is authorized to sign the document on behalf of the transmitter and/or payer
- Instructions – Added information to revise current TCC information
Refer to Form 4419 Instructions for more information.
ALERT! Beginning in January 2015, approval letters will not be issued for Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns (30-Day) Requests.
ALERT! New password security requirements for the FIRE System
Passwords must be 8-20 characters and include at least one uppercase and one lowercase letter, one number, and one special character #?!@$%^&*.,’-
FIRE Test System - The IRS encourage filers to submit a test file to ensure their hardware and software are compatible with IRS systems.
- Located at https://fire.test.irs.gov
- Available from Nov. 2, 2015, through Feb. 19, 2016.
Note: FIRE Test System will be down for yearly updates from 6 p.m. (EST) on Dec. 11, 2015, through Jan. 3, 2016. Test files can't be submitted during this time.
- System may be down every Wednesday from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. (EST) for programming updates.
FIRE Production System - Available for electronic submissions
- Located at https://fire.irs.gov
- Available 24 hours a day
Note: FIRE Production system will be down from 6 p.m.(EST) Dec. 11, 2015, through Jan. 18, 2016 for yearly updates.
- The system may be down every Wednesday from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m.(EST) for programming updates.
Assistance is available to payers, transmitters, and employers at the telephone numbers below for the following issues:
- Questions from the payer and transmitter community relating to the correct preparation and filing (electronic or paper) of business information returns (Forms 1096, 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8027, 8596, and W-2G).
- Questions related to electronic filling of Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, and Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants with Deferred Vested Benefits.
- General Instructions for Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements.
- Notice CP2100, Please check your Backup Withholding List.
- Notice 972CG, A Penalty is proposed for your Information Returns.
Contact the IRS Monday through Friday
- 1-866-455-7438 Toll Free
- 1-304-263-8700 International
- 1-304-579-4827 Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD).
Assistance with individual taxpayer returns or account related issues cannot be provided on the numbers listed above. Click on the Help & Resources tab on IRS.gov for help with many tax issues.