Frequently Asked Questions About the Information Returns (IR) Application for Transmitter Control Code (TCC)


Notice: Historical Content

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current law, policies or procedures.

Q1. Why are these changes being made? (added August 25, 2021)

A. To strengthen validation controls to protect against unauthorized filing and input of fraudulent information returns, as identified by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), comply with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standard 800-63-2, and the Taxpayer First Act (TFA) provision 2301, Electronic Filing of Returns.

Q2. What is Taxpayer First Act (TFA) provision 2301? (added August 25, 2021)

A. TFA 2301, is proposed legislation that will lower the current threshold of information returns mandated to be filed electronically from 250 to 100 and then to 10 in a phased approach. (The IRS has issued 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.)

Q3. How do the changes help the IRS protect against unauthorized filing or input of fraudulent information returns? (added August 25, 2021)

A. Applicants must verify their identity by creating or using an existing Secure Access (SA) account. Secure Access uses multi-factor authentication to protect sensitive online tools from fraudulent access. New users without a Secure Access Account should review Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools.

Q4. When do these changes go into effect? (added August 25, 2021)

A. New applicants applying for a TCC or existing users who need a new TCC (i.e., change to legal name, new form type, etc.) are tentatively scheduled for September 26, 2021. Existing users, any user that did not receive their TCC through the new online Information Returns (IR) Application for Transmitter Control Code (TCC), is expected to move to the new platform in September 2022.

Q5. Will there be a grace period for users to submit the Fill-in Form 4419 through the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) System? (added August 25, 2021)

A. No, the option to submit a Fill-in Form 4419 through FIRE deactivated on September 10, 2021.

Q6. Are fingerprint cards required? (added August 25, 2021)

A. No, fingerprint cards are not required.

Q7. Will the TCCs be in the same format? (added August 25, 2021)

A. Yes, they will follow the established TCC format.

Q8. Will the TCC be deactivated if not used in two consecutive years? (added August 25, 2021)

A. No, at the two year mark the customer will be sent a letter to advise they have not used their TCC in two years. If it is not used it will be made inactive in the third year.

Q9. How does the IR Application for TCC affect existing users who already have a TCC? (added August 25, 2021)

A. Current TCCs will continue to be valid and active. When the IR Application for TCC becomes available September 26, 2021, an existing user needing an additional TCC must access the IR Application for TCC to request one.

Q10. I'm an existing FIRE user; can I transition or move my existing TCC to the new IR Application for TCC in September 2021? (added August 25, 2021)

A. No, only new users or existing users applying for an additional TCC will use the IR Application for TCC. If you have an existing assigned TCC to electronically file information returns, your account cannot be merged until September 2022, when all existing accounts will transition to the IR Application for TCC.

Q11. Is the Login to FIRE changing? (added August 25, 2021)

A. In late September, the FIRE login will require the entry of the User ID, Password, EIN, TCC, and business name exactly as it appears on the FIRE System.

To ensure you have the exact business name used when the original application for TCC was submitted we recommend you:

  • Login to the FIRE System
  • Go to Main Menu
  • Select Send Information Returns
  • Follow prompts
  • Print and Save a copy of the Update Send Information Return screen

New FIRE users should keep a copy of their TCC application to ensure they have the exact name used when setting up their account.

Q12. What does the Responsible Official (RO) (new user) do if they acquire new employees? (added August 25, 2021)

A. The RO or Authorized Delegate (AD) is required to update the application with the employee's information. The RO or AD will give the new employee the company Employer Identification Number (EIN), TCC, and business legal name exactly as it appears on the IR Application for TCC. The employee will use this information to create their FIRE Account. The employee does not go through Secure Access.

Q13. As an existing user, how do I revise my application for Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) (such as "Legal name" or "Person to contact about this request")? (added August 25, 2021)

A. A paper Form 4419 would be used to revise the legal business name, contact information or business mailing address for users with TCCs issued prior to September 2021.

Q14. If I originally submit the application as an Issuer, can it be updated to a Transmitter or will I need to submit a new application? (added August 25, 2021)

A. You will need to submit a new application to change the role from Issuer to Transmitter or vice versa.

Q15. What do I do if I have a current TCC and I need an additional TCC? (added August 25, 2021)

A. Create a Secure Access Account and submit an IR Application for TCC on the FIRE webpage.

Q16. What if I can't get through Secure Access (SA)? (added August 25, 2021)

A. Customers who cannot authenticate through Secure Access are provided with the options to enlist a third party to file on their behalf or purchase a software package to support their electronic filing.

Q17. What is a non-US person/filer supposed to do if they don't have a United States Tax Identification Number (TIN)? (updated March 3, 2022)

A. Customers who cannot authenticate through Secure Access are provided with the option to enlist a third party to file on their behalf.

Q18. Will Secure Access require someone to manually enter the security code (which changes with each login) during the FIRE System login process? (added August 25, 2021)

A. No, the FIRE System is not going behind Secure Access during phase 1 or phase 2 (expected deployment late summer/early fall 2022). Only the application for the TCC is moving behind Secure Access and will need the security code entered when logging in to update the IR Application for TCC.