Topic No. 802 Applying to File Information Returns Electronically


All filers must obtain approval from the Internal Revenue Service, Technical Services Operation (TSO), and be assigned a Transmitter Control Code (TCC) prior to electronically filing Forms 1042-S, 1097-BTC, 1098 Series, 1099 Series, 3921, 3922, 5498 Series, 8027, 8955-SSA, and W-2G. Once approval to file electronically has been received, filers shouldn't reapply each year. There are two exceptions where a filer would need to apply for a new TCC:

  • If the TCC hasn't been used for two consecutive years; or
  • If files were previously transmitted by a service bureau using the service bureau's TCC and the filer has the computer equipment that's compatible with TSO and wishes to prepare the files in-house.

Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) must be filed electronically to request the original TCC.

Upon approval, a five-character alphanumeric Transmitter Control Code (TCC) will be assigned and included in an approval letter. The TCC is used to identify filers/transmitters and to track their files electronically. Only one TCC is required for each transmitter who files Forms 1097-BTC, 1098 Series, 1099 Series, 3921, 3922, 5498 Series, and W-2G for multiple payers. However, a separate TCC is required for each of the following types of returns:

  • 1042-S,
  • 8027,
  • 8955-SSA and
  • Affordable Care Act ("ACA") returns (Form 1094-B, Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns; Form 1095-B, Health Insurance Coverage; Form 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns; and Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage). ACA returns are not filed via FIRE; see AIR section below.

Filers/transmitters may not electronically file information returns until the application has been approved and a TCC has been assigned. If any information on the Form 4419 changes, filers must notify TSO in writing so the database can be updated. Be sure to include the TCC in all correspondence.

Some service bureaus will transmit files using their TCC, while others will require filers to obtain a TCC of their own. Filers should contact their service bureau for further information.

Filers of information returns may be subject to penalties for failure to file timely, failure to include all or correct information, and failure to file electronically when required. For additional information regarding penalties, refer to the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns (Forms 1096, 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G) (PDF). Questions concerning penalty notices should be directed to the address or telephone number printed on the notice.

For additional information, 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).


Electronic filers of Form W-2 must contact the Social Security Administration for all information, forms, and publications relating to the filing of Form W-2; visit or call 800-772-6270.


AIR is the e-file platform used for ACA returns. To electronically file ACA information returns, a firm or an organization must submit the ACA Application for TCC. See Affordable Care Act Information Returns (AIR) Program, for more information.