General Instructions for Certain Information Returns - Introductory Material

Future Developments

For the latest information about developments related to the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns after they were published, go to

What's New

FATCA filing requirements of certain foreign financial institutions (FFIs).   An FFI with a chapter 4 requirement to report a U.S. account maintained by the FFI that is held by a specified U.S. person may satisfy this requirement by reporting on Form(s)1099 under the election described in Regulations section 1.1471-4(d)(5)(i)(A) or (B). Additionally, a U.S. payor may satisfy its chapter 4 requirement to report such a U.S. account by reporting on Form(s) 1099. See Regulations section 1.1471-4(d)(2)(iii)(A). Information for these FFIs has been added to these General Instructions.

Truncating taxpayer identifying numbers on payee statements.   Final regulations have been issued that allow issuers to truncate payee identifying numbers on all payee statements covered by these instructions, except for Form W2-G. See Truncating payee identification number on payee statement, in part J.

New Form 1098-Q.   New Form 1098-Q, Qualifying Longevity Annuity Contract Information, is used to report the status of longevity annuity contracts held by defined contribution plans, IRAs, and eligible governmental plans, to participants. See Form 1098-Q and its instructions for more information.


Due date for certain statements sent to recipients.   The due date for furnishing statements to recipients for Forms 1099-B, 1099-S, and 1099-MISC (if amounts are reported in box 8 or 14) is February 16, 2016. This also applies to statements furnished as part of a consolidated reporting statement.

Electronic filing.    E-filers are reminded that using the FIRE System requires following the specifications contained in Pub. 1220, Specifications for Electronic Filing of Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G. Also, the IRS does not provide a fill-in form option. See part F for information on e-file.

Payee.   Throughout these instructions the term “payee” means any recipient of Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, or W-2G including beneficiaries, borrowers, debtors, donors, employees, insureds, participants, policyholders, shareholders, students, transferors, and winners on certain forms.

Where to file.   All information returns filed on paper will be filed with only two Internal Revenue Service Centers: Austin, TX, and Kansas City, MO. See part D and Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns.

Items You Should Note

Photographs of Missing Children

The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in instructions on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.

Available Products

In addition to these general instructions, which contain general information concerning Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G, we provide specific form instructions as separate products. Get the instructions you need for completing a specific form from the following list of separate instructions.

  • Instructions for Forms W-2G and 5754

  • Instructions for Form 1097-BTC

  • Instructions for Form 1098

  • Instructions for Form 1098-C

  • Instructions for Forms 1098-E and 1098-T

  • Instructions for Form 1098-Q

  • Instructions for Forms 1099-A and 1099-C

  • Instructions for Form 1099-B

  • Instructions for Form 1099-CAP

  • Instructions for Form 1099-DIV

  • Instructions for Form 1099-G

  • Instructions for Forms 1099-INT and 1099-OID

  • Instructions for Form 1099-K

  • Instructions for Form 1099-LTC

  • Instructions for Form 1099-MISC

  • Instructions for Form 1099-PATR

  • Instructions for Form 1099-Q

  • Instructions for Forms 1099-R and 5498

  • Instructions for Form 1099-S

  • Instructions for Forms 1099-SA and 5498-SA

  • Instructions for Forms 3921 and 3922

  • Instructions for Form 5498-ESA

You can also obtain the latest developments for each of the forms and instructions listed here by visiting their information pages at See the separate instructions for each form on the webpage via the link.

See How To Get Forms, Publications, and Other Assistance, later.

Guide to Information Returns

See the chart, later, for a brief summary of information return reporting rules.

Use Form 1096 To Send Paper Forms to the IRS

You must send Copies A of all paper Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G to the IRS with Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns. Instructions for completing Form 1096 are contained on Form 1096. Also see part E.

Reporting Backup Withholding on Forms 1099 and W-2G

If you backup withhold on a payment, you must file the appropriate Form 1099 or Form W-2G with the IRS and furnish a statement to the recipient to report the amount of the payment and the amount withheld. This applies even though the amount of the payment may be below the normal threshold for filing Form 1099 or Form W-2G. For how to report backup withholding, see part N.

Substitute Statements to Recipients

If you are using a substitute form to furnish information statements to recipients (generally Copy B), be sure your substitute statements comply with the rules in Pub. 1179, General Rules and Specifications for Substitute Forms 1096, 1098, 1099, 5498, and Certain Other Information Returns. Pub. 1179, which is revised annually, explains the requirements for format and content of substitute statements to recipients. See part M for additional information.

Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Matching

TIN Matching allows a payer or authorized agent who is required to file Forms 1099-B, DIV, INT, K, MISC, OID, and/or PATR, which report income subject to backup withholding, to match TIN and name combinations with IRS records before submitting the forms to the IRS. TIN Matching is one of the e-services products that is offered and is accessible through the IRS website. For program guidelines, see Pub. 2108-A, On-Line Taxpayer Identification (TIN) Matching Program, or go to and enter keyword “TIN matching” in the upper right corner. It is anticipated that payers who validate the TIN and name combinations before filing information returns will receive fewer backup withholding (CP2100) notices and penalty notices. E-services technical support is available by calling 1-866-255-0654.

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