Top Frequently Asked Questions for Electronic Filers


In an effort to make tax administration more efficient, the Service has created an electronic filing program for many information returns. Any person, including a corporation, partnership, employer, estate and/or trust who is required to file 250 or more information returns for any calendar year must file these returns electronically:

The 250-or-more requirement applies separately to each type of form.

Forms W-2 are electronically filed with the Social Security Administration. For specifications for electronic filing of Forms W-2 with the Social Security Administration, visit  or call 800-772-6270.

The Taxpayer First Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-25), enacted July 1, 2019, authorized the Treasury Department and the IRS to issue regulations that reduce the 250-return requirement for tax year 2021 returns. If those regulations are issued and effective for tax year 2021 returns required to be filed in 2022, the IRS will post an article at explaining the change. Until regulations are issued, however, the number remains at 250.

For information on requesting a waiver from the electronic filing requirement, see:


The Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) System is available to transmit Form 1097-BTC, Form 1098 series, Form 1099 series, Form 3921Form 3922, Form 5498 series, Form W-2GForm 1042-SForm 8027, or Form 8955-SSA:

  • Before filers can use FIRE, they must get a TCC by completing an IR Application for TCC, formerly Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically.
  • The new IR Application for TCC is available on the FIRE page. For more information, refer to FIRE System Update.
  • To transmit files electronically through FIRE, you must have software, a service provider, or an in-house programmer that will create the file in the proper format per the requirements and record layouts located in publications. A scanned or PDF copy will not be accepted.
  • When your application is approved, correspondence will be issued advising of your TCC.
  • You don't need to reapply for a TCC each year. However, you must apply for a new TCC if you haven't used your TCC for 2 consecutive years.
  • If your files were previously transmitted by a service bureau using the service bureau's TCC and you now want to transmit your files yourself, you must apply for a TCC.
  • For further information, refer to Publication 1220, Specifications for Electronic Filing of Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2GPDF.

Filers of Forms 1094-B1095-B1094-C, and 1095-C, see Affordable Care Act Information Returns (AIR) Program for information about filing these forms.

Filers of Form 8966, FATCA Report, see IDES Resources and Publication 5190, International Data Exchange Services User GuidePDF for more information.

Frequently Asked Question Subcategories for Electronic Filers