Planned Outage: December 6, 2018 - Monday, January 10, 2019
FIRE Prod: This service will be unavailable from approximately 6 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, December 6, 2018, until approximately 8 a.m. Eastern time on Monday, January 10, 2019, due to planned maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Planned Outage: December 6, 2018 - Wednesday, January 2, 2019
FIRE TPT: This service will be unavailable from approximately 6 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, December 6, 2018, until approximately 8 a.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, January 2, 2019, due to planned maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) Systems – Tax Year 2018 File Size Change
As of January 2019, the acceptable file size for the FIRE Systems cannot exceed one million records per file. We recommend you visit the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) website for the latest system status, updates, and alerts.
Publication 1220 for Tax Year 2018 was revised on October 17, 2018. Changes made are regarding Form 1098 and Form 1099-R – Payee “B” Record Layouts and will be effective January 2, 2019.
Notice 2018-94 provides an automatic 30-day extension to employers and providers to issue health coverage forms (Form 1095-B or 1095-C) to individuals. The extension is from January 31, 2019, until March 4, 2019. The IRS has not extended the due dates for employers and providers to file Form 1095-B or 1095-C for tax year 2018 with the IRS in filing year 2019.
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 1094/1095 are filed through the Affordable Care Act Information Return (AIR) system.
Who can participate?
Anyone with a FIRE System Transmitter Control Code (TCC) who is required to submit the information returns listed above (except Forms 1094/1095) 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, Listed below are a few benefits of electronic filing:
Files are processed faster with fewer errors.
FIRE System 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, for automatic 30-day requests only. Requests for an additional 30-days and 1099-MISC Forms W-2 and reporting non-employee compensation in box 7 must be submitted on paper.
How to transmit through FIRE System
To file electronically, you must have software or a service provider that will create the file in the proper format. A scanned or PDF copy will not be accepted. Additionally, a TCC is required to transmit information returns through the FIRE system.
The most efficient way to apply 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. 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 1094/1095) for two consecutive tax years. Once deleted from our database, you will need to submit another Form 4419.
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 1.0, TLS 1.1, TLS 1.2 and select “Apply”
|FIRE Test System Availability|
|Down for annual updates||December 5, 2018, 6 p.m. ET||January 2, 2019|
|Available||November 5, 2018||December 5, 2018, 6 p.m. ET|
|Available||January 2, 2019||Date to be determined this page will be updated when available.|
|Note: The FIRE Systems (Production and Test) may be down every Wednesday from 2 a.m. ET to 5 a.m. ET for programming updates.|
|FIRE Production System Availability|
|Down for annual updates||December 5, 2018, 6 p.m. ET||January 7, 2019|
|Controlled launch||January 8, 2019, 8 a.m. ET||January 10, 2019, 4 p.m. ET|
|Available||January 10, 2019||Available 24 hours a day until end of year updates. Date to be determined and will be available on the FIRE webpage.|
Forgotten or Lost Password and Secret Phrase
A secret phrase will be required for all FIRE System accounts. FIRE System users will use this new feature to reset a lost or forgotten password on FIRE Production and Test.
First time FIRE System account user: If you are establishing an account on FIRE for the first time you will create two separate accounts. One for FIRE Production and one for FIRE Test.
During this process you will be prompted to create a user ID, password and secret phrase. The secret phrase gives the user the ability to reset a lost or forgotten password.
Established FIRE System account: If you already have FIRE accounts created, you will be required to create a secret phrase after login with your established user ID and password.
Resetting your password - If you have a FIRE account for Test and Production with an established secret phrase and forgot your password, you should reset your password by using your established secret phrase.
Additional information can be found in these resources:
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 Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE)
Monday through Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm EST
- 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 tab on IRS.gov for help with many tax issues.