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Who can and who must participate in IRS FIRE

The IRS says “any filer of information returns may file their returns electronically”. In the past (2008 and earlier), this was true. What has changed for the 2009 tax season is that you must have a Employer Identification Number (EIN) to apply for a TCC number and not a Social Security Number (SSN). The EIN is a unique nine-digit number used by businesses that operate in the United States. Any business entity (which includes, sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships, non-profit organizations, trusts and estates and government agencies) may apply for the TCC number which lets you then transmit returns electronically, but not individuals via a SSN.

Publication 1220 states on page 6 that “any person, including a corporation, partnership, individual, estate, and trust, who is required to file 250 or more information returns must file such returns electronically”. This 250 requirement applies separately to each type of form that you are required to file.

Lets consider two examples. Say you file 400 Forms 1099-MISC and 50 Forms 1099-A. Then you must file all of the Forms 1099-MISC electronically but you are not required to file Forms 1099-A electronically.

Of the 400 1099-MISC forms that you filed electronically, lets say you need to file 75 corrections. You can file those corrections by paper because the number of corrections for Form 1099-MISC is less than the 250 filing requirement. If you filed 250 or more Forms 1099-MISC corrections, then those must be filed electronically.

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Erich J. Ruth

Erich J. Ruth provides technical support for National Software which is the parent company for 1099FIRE. 1099FIRE develops and markets a comprehensive range of products that enables any size of business or institution to effectively manage and comply with year-end filing requirements. 1099FIRE is an employee-owned company located in Phoenix, Arizona.

If you have any questions or comments about our software, feel free to contact us at any time.

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