Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE)

 

What’s New for Existing FIRE Accounts?

Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) Transmitter Control Code (TCC) Fill In option has been replaced by the online Information Return (IR) Application for Transmitter Control Code (TCC).

To request an additional TCC use the online IR Application for TCC. To learn more, visit the FIRE System Update page.

You can use Paper Form 4419 only to update your business name, contact name, phone number, or address on an existing TCC.

  FIRE Production System Availability
  From: Through:
Down for annual updates December 3, 2021,
6 p.m. ET
January 4, 2022
Controlled launch January 5, 2022, 8 a.m. ET January 7, 2022,
midnight ET
Available January 7, 2022 Available 24 hours a day until end of year updates. Date to be determined and will be available on this page.
FIRE Test System Availability
  From: Through:
Down for updates October 13, 2021,
6 p.m. ET
November 2, 2021
Available November 3, 2021,
8 a.m. ET
December 3, 2021,
6 p.m. ET
Down for annual updates December 3, 2021,
6 p.m. ET
January 4, 2022
Available January 4, 2022

Date to be determined and will be available on this page.

Note: The FIRE Systems (Production and Test) have regularly scheduled maintenance windows every Sunday and Wednesday from 2 a.m. ET to 5 a.m. ET.

What Is an Information Return?

Information returns are records other than tax returns that the IRS requires to document certain financial transactions.

The following forms may be filed electronically via the FIRE System.

The following forms are filed through the Affordable Care Act Information Return (AIR) system.

Log in to FIRE or create a new FIRE account:

Log in to FIRE

Apply for a Transmitter Control Code (TCC), which is required to access the FIRE System:

Access IR Application for TCC

New FIRE users who do not already have a Secure Access username and password must authenticate their identities and create a new account to access the IR Application for TCC.

Who Can Participate?

Any organization that  needs to file information returns can file electronically via the FIRE System.  Any corporation, partnership, employer, estate or trust that files 250 or more information returns for any calendar year must file electronically. We encourage filers who have less than 250 information returns to file electronically as well.

The Taxpayer First Act of 2019, enacted July 1, 2019, authorized Treasury and the IRS to reduce the 250-return requirement for 2021 tax-year returns. We have proposed regulations to reduce the current 250-return threshold to 100 in 2022 and to 10 in 2023. To review the proposed regulation or for details on the public hearing and comment period, see the Federal Register. If those regulations are issued and if they are effective for 2021 tax-year returns required to be filed in 2022, we will post an article at IRS.gov/form1099 explaining the change.  Until final regulations are issued, however, the number remains at 250. 

What Are the Benefits of Electronic Filing?

How Do I File Information Returns Electronically?

Effective September 26, 2021, you can apply online for the Transmitter Control Code (TCC) required to access the File Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) System. The TCC is a five-digit code that identifies the business submitting the electronic files. Apply through the Information Return Application for TCC.

Create a FIRE System Account

To create a FIRE Account, you must:

  • Authenticate through Secure Access
  • Complete your IR Application for TCC
  • Obtain your TCC

To transmit electronic files or check their status, the people listed on your IR Application for TCC must create their own FIRE Accounts. You can assign the following roles to them:

  • Responsible Official (RO)
  • Authorized Delegate (AD)
  • Contact

The main role of the Contact is to transmit electronic files and monitor the file statuses on behalf of the businesses. To fulfill this role the RO must provide the Contact with the following information so they can create their FIRE Account.

  • TCC
  • EIN
  • Business name (exactly as entered on the IR Application for TCC)

FIRE Account information cannot be shared. Each Contact must have their own account.

The RO and AD (if any) listed on the application may create a FIRE Account but are not required to if they will not be transmitting the electronic returns for the business.

The FIRE Account provides login credentials needed to submit files electronically. If you are submitting files for more than one TCC/EIN combination, you must create separate FIRE Accounts for each. A FIRE Account includes the following:

User ID

  • Should be a minimum of 8 characters.
  • May contain special characters including underscore ( _ ), forward slash ( / ), "at" symbol ( @ ), hyphen ( - ), period, comma, and space.

FIRE Password

  • Must be between 8 and 20 characters
  • Must contain at least:
    • 1 uppercase letter
    • 1 lowercase letter
    • 1 number
    • 1 of the following special characters: # ? ! @ $ % ^ & * . , -  
  • The User ID or Username cannot be part of the password

The FIRE System requires you to change your password every 90 days or at the first login attempt after. The previous 24 passwords cannot be used.

The password must not be shared. It is the user’s responsibility to protect the password from becoming compromised.

The password cannot be changed more than 1 time in a 24-hour period.

FIRE PIN

  • Must contain 10 digits
  • The 10 digits cannot be:
    • All the same number, example 1111111111
    • Sequential in ascending or descending order, examples 0123456789 or 9876543210
    • Alpha characters

Established accounts that do not meet the criteria will be prompted to update their PIN when they log into the FIRE System.

If you enter an incorrect PIN three times, you will be locked out and unable to submit files for a 24-hour period.

Next, you will create a secret phrase that will make it possible for you to reset your own password.

Secret Phrase

  • Must be between 8 and 20 characters
  • Must contain at least:
    • 1 uppercase letter
    • 1 lowercase letter
    • 1 number
    • 1 of the following special characters: # ? ! @ $ % ^ & . , ’ - .
  • Must not contain spaces
  • The User ID or Username cannot be part of the secret phrase
  • Enter the CAPTCHA validation code

If all data entered is valid, you will receive the message, “Your Secret Phrase has been successfully created!”

Resetting Forgotten or Lost Password

If you have a FIRE System Account (Production or Test) with an established secret phrase and forgot your password, you may reset your password by using your established secret phrase. The password cannot be changed more than 1 time in a 24-hour period.

  • Go to the FIRE System login screen
  • Select "Forgot Password"
  • Enter all the required information
  • Click "Login"
  • You will then be prompted to "Change Your Password" with the specified criteria.

Once logged into the FIRE System, you have the option to "Change Secret Phrase" if needed.

If you exceed the number of allowed login attempts with the secret phrase, you will be prompted to call the IRS for a Secret Phrase reset.

How to Transmit Through the FIRE System

You can follow the guidance in the following publications. Choose the publication that supports your filing needs.

You can also use software or a service provider to create the file in the proper format.

Scanned, PDF, PNG, TIF, GIF, JPG, Word, Excel formats will not be accepted.  

The Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) Production and Test System server no longer supports Secure Socket Layer (SSL) 3.0 as one of the FIRE System’s Internet Security Technical Standards. Transmitters using IE 6.0 or lower as their browser may have problems logging in and connecting to the FIRE System. Follow the steps below to connect and upload a file:

  • Go to Tools > Internet Options > Advanced
  • Scroll down and find Security
  • Uncheck both SSL 2.0 and SSL 3.0
  • Check TLS 1.2 and select “Apply”

Additional Information

Form 8809, Extension of Time to File Information Returns

Fill-in automatic extension of time requests

If you think you may not be able to file your information returns by the forms filing due date, you may request an automatic 30-day extension of time to file.

  • The FIRE System provides the option to request a 30-day extension of time using the Fill-in Form 8809. You will need to create a FIRE Account to use this option, but you don’t need a TCC.
  • Go to the Main Menu and select Extension of Time Request.
  • Select Fill-in Extension and enter the required information.
  • You will receive an instant approval of your original extension request if the application is completed and accepted.

This option cannot be used to request non-automatic extensions of time.

Non-automatic extension of time requests

If you need to request a 30-day non-automatic extension of time for Form W-2, Form 1099-NEC, or an additional 30-day extension for any other form type these requests must be submitted on paper Form 8809. Follow the form instructions and mail to the address provided.

Electronic Extension File Transmission

If you need to submit several extension of time requests, you may submit an extension file through the FIRE System. For this option you will need a FIRE Account and a TCC.

  • Select the appropriate publication listed under How to Transmit through the FIRE System.
  • Create a file in accordance with the publication’s extension record layout.

This option cannot be used to request non-automatic extensions for Forms W-2 or Forms 1099-NEC, or additional 30-day extensions. Refer to Form 8809 Instructions.

To submit the electronic file:

  • Log in to the FIRE System
  • Go to the Main Menu and select Extension of Time Request
  • Select Upload Extension File and follow the prompts

Extension files must be transmitted before the due date for the form the extension is being requested.

Form 8508, Request for Waiver from Filing Information Returns Electronically

If you think you will not be able to meet your electronic filing requirement you may request a waiver. Waivers are not automatically accepted. If accepted they are only good for the current filing year. The waiver requests do not have an electronic filing option and must be submitted on paper Form 8508 PDF following the instructions provided on the form.

Available Assistance

The Technical Services Operation (TSO) is available to payers, transmitters, and employers at the numbers listed below. When you call you will be provided guidance to essential elements pertaining to technical aspects for electronic filing through the FIRE Systems, self-help resources, and referrals to tax law topics on IRS.gov. Below are some examples of essential elements:

  • Form identification 
  • How to obtain a form
  • Provide related publications for a form or topic 
  • FIRE File status information and guidance

Contact Technical Services Operation (TSO)

Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. EST

Assistance with individual taxpayer accounts, account related issues, or tax law cannot be provided on the numbers listed above. Click the Help link on IRS.gov for help with many tax issues.

 

Who Can Participate | Returning User Logon | Helpful Information