The IRS FIRE system is an online portal maintained by the Internal Revenue Service for filers that need to submit information returns. FIRE stands for “Filing Information Returns Electronically” and will go live February 3rd, 2014 (rather than January 21st, which was the original target launch date.)
When it launches, the FIRE system will be a great help to filers who are required to report certain kinds of payments by IRS regulations – it represents a major leap forward into the Digital Age, as many forms had to be mailed through the Postal Service in years past. Now, the vast majority of information returns can be simply and easily processed at this portal.
How do you know if you or your business should use the FIRE system? If you are required to file information returns, you can file the following forms electronically:
- Form 1042-S
- Form 1097
- Form 1098
- Form 1099
- Form 3921
- Form 3922
- Form 5498
- Form 8027
- Form 8935
- Form 8955-SSA
- Form W-2G
The IRS won’t prepare the documents for you, obviously – that is still your job – so one of the major requirements of using the IRS FIRE system is having up-to-date, high-quality software that can prepare your information returns in the proper format, such as the 1099 preparation software and modules available at 1099Fire.com. You will also need to fill out Form 4419 (Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically) in order to get a Transmitter Control Code (TCC), which you will need to use the IRS FIRE system. According to the IRS web site, that still needs to be filed and submitted via snail mail or fax (only government logic would require you to mail a form requesting access to a Web site) so you’ll have to print it, fill it out and send it to this address:
Internal Revenue Service
Information Returns Branch
230 Murall Drive, Mail Stop 4360
Kearneysville, WV 25430
Alternatively, if you still have a fax machine, you can fax it to 877-477-0572 or 304-579-4105 (that last number is local to West Virginia, so it’ll cost you long distance if you aren’t nearby.) Just bear in mind that you have to turn in Form 4419 30 days prior to the due date of the returns for current year processing – so you’ll have to act quickly to get that TCC in time to use IRS FIRE for 2014!
If you want to bypass all of the IRS rigmarole, you can also get an entire IRS FIRE package from 1099Fire, which makes it easy to import, print and electronically file any of the above forms. For more information, stop by the 1099Fire website anytime, which has links to all of its software and an endlessly useful Tax Blog that can help you answer your toughest tax questions.