skip navigation

Search Help
Navigation Help

Topic Index

Tax Topics

About Tax Map Website
Rev. date: 01/01/2011

Electronic Filing of Information Returns

Tax Topic 805
The Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) System is designed exclusively for the electronic filing of the following information returns: Forms 1042-S, 1097-BTC, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8027, 8955-SSA and W-2G. FIRE is accessible at Benefits of electronically filing information returns include: cost-effectiveness, secure (supports AES 256-bit, AES 128-bit and TDES 168-bit encryption); and a later due date for filing most information returns. The electronic filing of information returns is not associated with the Form 1040 electronic filing program.
If you are sending files larger than 10,000 records electronically, data compression is encouraged. WinZip or PKZIP are the only acceptable compression packages. The FIRE System is operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please note that the FIRE System will be down from 2 p.m. EST December 21, 2010, through January 3, 2010, to allow Internal Revenue Service/Information Returns Branch (IRS/IRB) to update its system to reflect current year changes. In addition, the FIRE system may be down every Wednesday from 3:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time, for maintenance.
After you file your returns via the FIRE System, the result of the electronic transmission will be e-mailed to you if you provide an accurate e-mail address on the "Verify Your Filing Information" screen. The file status e-mail will include the IRS assigned filename, date received, count of payees, and file status for Forms 1042-S, 1097-BTC, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8027, 8935, and W-2G. If the e-mail indicates that your file is bad, you must log into the FIRE System and go to the "Check File Status" option to review the results of your file and timely resubmit the file as a replacement file. If the file is good, it is automatically released for mainline processing 10 calendar days from receipt.
For further information, refer to Publication 1187Publication 1220Publication 1239Publication 3609. You can also contact the IRS/IRB, Customer Service Section, by calling toll-free at 866-455-7438, between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, or by using Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) at 304-579-4827.
IRS forms and publications related to electronic filing may be ordered by calling toll-free at 800-829-3676 or downloaded from the IRS website at