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How to check file status for the IRS FIRE System?

November 8th, 2013 No comments

You have a file which contains a set of records for an information return.  You submitted that to the IRS FIRE System.  The IRS will email you whether the file is Good or Bad if you provided a correct e-mail address when you set up your account.

You can patiently wait.  Typically it takes 1-2 days before you get a response back for a 1099 information.  The 1042-S, 8027 and IRS Form 8955-SSA takes anywhere from 5-7 days.  Sometimes waiting for an email response from the IRS is too much. You can log in and check your File Status at any time of the day or night.  The steps for checking the file status are as follows:

Log in the http://fire.irs.gov

Click to get to the Main Menu.  Then click on Check File Status.  Enter your TCC and TIN.  Then click on Search.

If the results indicate:

“Good, Not Released” – If the payee count is also correct, then you (the filer) are finished with this file. The file will be released after 10 calendar days.  If, within this 10 day timeframe, you find out that made any errors with this file, you can always call the IRS and ask them to delete the file. The phone number for the IRS FIRE System is toll-free 866-455-7438.  They are open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm EST.

One common mistake that I make every year is submitting the same file twice.  I click the submit button and then accidently hit submit again and the same file is submitted twice.  I can easily call the IRS and ask them to delete one of the files, but I have to call within that 10 day period of time.

“Good, Released” – The file has been released.  You won’t receive an email notification of when the file was released.

“Bad” – The file has errors and a replacement file needs to be submitted.  The good news is, click on the filename and you can view the error messages associated with this file.

“Not yet processed” – The file was submitted and received but no results are available right now.  You just have to wait.

When you are finished checking the file status, just click on Log Out and the close your web browser.

Typically it takes 1-3 days before you get an email with the file results.  But when your getting close to deadline, the IRS Fire System tends to slow and may take many days to a week before you see any results. Being able to check the file status is a nice feature.

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