First-time electronic filers are encouraged (but not required) to submit a Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) test file. However, a test file is required when applying to participate in the Combined Federal/State Filing (CF/SF) Program.
The CF/SF Program forwards original and corrected information returns filed electronically through the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) System to participating states free of charge for approved filers, eliminating separate reporting to the participating states. The information returns that may be filed with the CF/SF Program are:
- Form 1099-B, Proceeds from Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions
- Form 1099-DIV, Dividends and Distributions
- Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments
- Form 1099-INT, Interest Income
- Form 1099-K, Payment Card and Third Party Network Transactions
- Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income
- Form 1099-OID, Original Issue Discount
- Form 1099-PATR, Taxable Distributions Received From Cooperatives
- Form 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc., and
- Form 5498, IRA Contribution Information
A FIRE test file properly coded for the program is required when applying to participate in CF/SF Program. Although a test file is only required for the first year, it's highly recommended that a test file be sent every year. If the CF/SF test file is acceptable, the IRS will send the filer a letter of approval. CF/SF records must be coded using the two-digit codes assigned to the participating states from the table in Publication 1220, Specifications for Electronic Filing of Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G (PDF).
For information on obtaining a Transmitter Control Code, required to transmit files through the FIRE System, refer to Topic No. 802, Applying to File Information Returns Electronically.