Topic 801 - Who Must File Information Returns Electronically

The requirements to file electronically depend on the type of information returns that are being filed.

Section 6011(e)(2)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations thereunder require any person, including a corporation, partnership, employer, estate and trust, who files 250 or more information returns, such as Forms 1042-S, 1097-BTC, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8027, W-2 and W-2G for any calendar year, to file these returns electronically. This requirement applies separately for each type of form required to be filed. All requirements apply separately to both original and corrected forms.

Forms 1042-S, 1097-BTC, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G may be filed with the Technical Services Operation (TSO) electronically using the FIRE system at General information on filing and making corrections, as well as specifications for electronic filing, can be found in the following publications:

  • Publication 1220 (PDF), Specifications for Electronic Filing of Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G,
  • Publication 1239 (PDF), Specifications for Electronic Filing of Filing Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips,
  • Publication 1187 (PDF), Specifications for Electronic Filing of Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, and
  • Publication 4810 (PDF), Specifications for Electronic Filing of Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants with Deferred Vested Benefits.

For assistance with Publications 1187, 1220, 1239, and 4810, call the TSO Customer Service Section toll-free at 866-455-7438 or at 304-579-4827 (not toll-free) if using the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD). Foreign filers may call 304-263-8700 (not toll-free).

All specifications for electronic filing of Forms W-2 with the Social Security Administration may be found in the technical bulletins from the Social Security Administration. For questions about filing Forms W-2 electronically, call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-6270.

IRS forms and publications may be downloaded from or ordered by calling toll-free at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: September 08, 2015