How and When to File Form 1096 with the IRS

Annual Summary and Transmittal of Information Returns

Filing IRS Form 1096 with 1099 Forms
Filing IRS Form 1096. Hanson Quan/Getty Images

What is Form 1096?

IRS Form 1096 is a compilation/summary return, which shows the totals from information returns and must be submitted to the IRS along with these returns, such as the 1099-MISC form.

You will need to submit a separate 1096 for every type of information return you have given to a recipient, even if you only prepared one of each kind. For example, if you prepared and submitted two 1099-MISC forms and one 1099-R form (for retirement payments), you must submit a 1096 summarizing the 1099-MISC forms and another 1096 summarizing the 1099-R form.

When Must Form 1096 be Submitted?

Form 1096 must be submitted to the IRS no later than the last business day of February each year (February 28, in 2011), along with the applicable returns which it summarizes. If you are filing electronically, as noted above, the deadline is the end of March (March 31, 2016, for 2015 forms.)

Filing Form 1096 Electronically

The IRS allows you to e-file Form 1096, along with 1099-MISC forms and other 1099 forms. You must use the IRS's FIRE system (Filing Information Returns Electronically). 

Must I Submit Form 1096 with 1099 Forms?

If you are e-filing 1099 forms, you do not need to include 1096 forms. You must file the 1099 forms electronically, using the IRS Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) system.

 How Do I Complete Form 1096?

  1. First, enter the name of your business (as the "FILER")and address; a name of a person to contact, and an email address, phone number, and fax number.
  1. Enter your Employer ID Number (Box 1) or Social Security Number (Box 2), if you don't have an EIN.
  2. In Box 3, enter the total number of forms you are submitting with this 1096.
  3. In Box 4, enter the total federal income tax withheld on all the forms you are submitting. If you didn't withhold any federal income tax, indicate "0".
  1. In Box 5, enter the total amount of reported payments on all the forms you are submitting.
  2. In Box 6, enter an "X" in the box for the type of form you are submitting. For example, if you are submitting 1099-MISC forms, enter an X in the 1099-MISC box.

Other Instructions for Form 1096

If you are submitting 250 or more forms, you must file electronically.
Be sure that all the information on the 1096 about you (the FILER), including your EIN, is the same as on the 1099-MISC forms you are submitting.
Don't forget to sign and date the form.

You MUST submit the RED Scannable Form to the IRS. Don't download and print a 1096 from the web and submit it; you could be subject to a $50 fine for submitting a 1096 form that is not scannable. You can order 1096 forms from the IRS.

 

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