Electronic Reporting of Forms 1042-S


Withholding agents or their agents must use electronic media to file 250 or more Forms 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, with the IRS. Financial institutions are always required to file Forms 1042-S electronically. All withholding agents are encouraged to file electronically even if not required to. Even though as many as 249 Forms 1042-S may be submitted on paper to the IRS per year, the IRS encourages filers to transmit forms electronically.

Electronic submissions are filed using the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) System.

The electronic filing requirement applies separately to original and amended returns. The filing requirement applies individually to each reporting entity as defined by its separate taxpayer identification number (TIN).

For example, if you have 300 original Forms 1042-S, they must be filed electronically. However, if you are not a financial institution and 200 of those forms contained erroneous information, the amended returns may be filed on paper forms because the number of amended Forms 1042-S is less than the 250-or-more per year filing requirement. If you are filing 250 or more amended Forms 1042-S, they must be filed electronically.

Caution! If you file electronically, do not file the same returns on paper. Duplicate filing may cause penalty notices to be generated.

Failure to File Electronically

If you are required to file Form 1042-S electronically but you fail to do so, and you do not have an approved waiver on record, you will be subject to a penalty unless you establish reasonable cause for your failure. The penalty applies separately to original and amended returns.

Note: Refer to the Increase in Information Return Penalties page for the inflation-adjusted penalty amounts.

Hardship Waiver

To request a hardship waiver from the required filing of Forms 1042-S electronically, submit Form 8508, Request for Waiver From Filing Information Returns ElectronicallyPDF. Waiver requests should be filed at least 45 days before the due date of the returns. See Form 8508 for more information.

Need Assistance?

For Assistance with Electronic Filing

For additional information and instructions on filing Forms 1042-S electronically, extensions of time to file Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns, and Hardship Waivers (Form 8508), see Publication 1187, Specifications for Electronic Filing of Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to WithholdingPDF.

For Assistance with Tax Law Questions

For assistance with tax law questions concerning withholding of tax on payments of U.S. sourced income to foreign persons under Chapter 3 of the Internal Revenue Code, you may call 267-941-1000 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time or write to:

Internal Revenue Service
International Section
Philadelphia, PA 19255-0725

References/Related Topics