Table of Contents

1099 E-Filing: submitting prior year files

Eric Updated by Eric

To submit prior year files, you first will create a copy of your client in the current year's program. Then, there are then two possible methods available to create your previous year’s file.

Create a copy of your client

  1. Before creating a Prior Year File in Step 2, you must first exit this module.
  2. On the main screen of the program, click Utilities > Client List Options from the menu bar. We will tell the program to show Control Numbers, which is useful for this procedure.
    1. At the bottom of the Client List Options dialog, select Employer - Ctol No - ID in Saved Option Files.
    2. Click Save.
    3. In the Save Options File dialog, choose a name and click OK. Return to the main screen.
  3. Left-click to select the client to copy.
  4. From the menu bar click Utilities > Copy Current Client. A duplicate client will appear in the Client List. This is necessary to keep the prior year’s forms/files separate from your current year.
  5. Double-click on the newly created client and type PRIOR in Control Number.
  6. Click Save. There should now be duplicate clients in the list. The one with PRIOR as is the duplicated client.
If you are working with more than one previous year, you will make a copy of your client for each year. Rename their Control numbers to distinguish (examples: “Prior19”, “Prior18”).

There are then two possible methods available (in the ‘Create 1098/1099/W-2G e-file/MagMedia Files” module) to create your previous year’s file.

Method 1: Use the current Payroll System program

In this method, you will first create your prior year’s 1099(s) as if they are a 2021 information returns under the “PRIOR” copy of client.

This cannot be used for 1099-MISC or 1099-PATR for 2019 or earlier years because of significant form changes.

  1. Create a copy of your client.
  2. Under the duplicate client, create your prior year's 1099's as if they are 2021 information returns.
  3. Open the e-filing module.
  4. In Step 2, select the appropriate previous Filing Year. See 1099 E-Filing Step 2: Create IRS file.
  5. Answer No when a dialog appears asking if you want to use Method 2. All information forms except 1099-MISC, NEC and PATR, for all clients, will be listed. Note also that each form type will be listed on a separate line, for each Payer.
  6. Be sure to only select clients with “PRIOR” as their Control Number for inclusion in the previous year file you are about to create. Lines you have selected will be highlighted in blue.
  7. Click Create File. A pop-up will ask you to confirm. The program will create your electronic file for the previous year you selected (even though you filled out a 2021 form).
  8. The next dialog box will have you save the file (default location is recommended), and a final pop-up will include a reminder of possible state filing requirements. Those lines will disappear from Step 2, because their file has now been created and moved to Step 3.
  9. In Step 3, the previous year file can be distinguished from any current year file, because its Program File Name will include its 2 digit year (e.g., “1099IRS20-1”, instead of “1099IRS21-1). You must still upload your created file to IRS FIRE System, in the same manner as current year forms. See 1099 E-Filing Step 3: IRS Submittal.

The same process can generally be used to create state electronic files for previous year(s) in Step 4. Not all states permit electronic filing of previous year forms, however.

Corrected Returns

Generally follow the Method 1 procedure above for “Correction Type A” 1099’s (which are usually money amount corrections). Scroll down to Corrected Returns below for more information.

When preparing your Corrected 1099(s) (under your copied client), be sure to mark the Corrected checkbox on the 1099 form (and fill in the form with the corrected amount(s)).

In Step 2, in addition to selecting the previous Filing Year, also select Corrected File. Only Payers with corrected files will then be listed. Select the line(s) you wish to include in your prior year’s corrected file (so that they are highlighted in blue), before clicking the Create File button.

Method 2: Use the year of Payroll System from the year of the filing

For the second method, you must first create your prior year’s 1099(s) in the appropriate year Payroll System program. If you don’t already own the prior year’s program, it can be purchased for a fraction of the normal cost, or, you can download the DEMO program.

This method MUST be used for 1099-MISC or 1099-PATR for 2019 or earlier years, because of the significant form changes.
If you used CFS’ Payroll System Program in the Prior Year, and you PAPER filed your 1099’s that year, see “Paper Filed in Previous Year” below, before proceeding.
  1. Add your Client to the prior year's program (before preparing their 1099’s).
  2. Prepare the 1099's (or corrected 1099's) in the prior year's program.
  3. Open the current year’s program.
  4. Open the Create 1098/1099/W-2G e-filing/MagMedia Files module.
  5. In Step 2, select the prior Filing Year. Answer Yes when the pop-up asks if you want to use Method 2.
  6. If your Previous year’s database is located in the Program’s default location, the next pop-up will tell you it has been located. Next, a Browse for Database dialog box will appear, with the correct file name pre-filled in the File Name field. Click Open.
  7. All Payers and Form Types from that year—that have not already been included in an electronic file that year—will now be listed in Step 2.
    All 1099’s (with amounts) prepared in that prior year will come forward (unless they are included in an electronic file that year). If you paper-filed any 1099’s that year (or for any reason left a 1099 in its folder that was never filed) they also will come forward. See If you paper-filed in the prior year.
    If you are preparing a previous year file for Corrected return(s), be sure to also select, Corrected File in Step 2.
  8. Select the Payers and Form type lines you would like to include in your previous year file (you can include all Payers and form types in one file by utilizing the Select All button). Your selected lines should be highlighted in blue. Click Create File.
  9. The next dialog box will have you save the file (default location is recommended), and a final pop-up will include a reminder of possible state filing requirements. Those lines will disappear from Step 2, because their file has now been created and moved to Step 3.
  10. In Step 3, the previous year file can be distinguished from any current year file, because its Program File Name will include its 2 digit year (e.g., “1099IRS19-1”, instead of “1099IRS20-1). You must still upload your created file to IRS FIRE System, in the same manner as current year files.
The same process can generally be used to create state electronic files for previous year(s) in Step 4. Not all states permit electronic filing of previous year forms, however.

If you paper filed in the prior year

Method 2 has additional difficulties if you:

1) Owned and used CFS’ Payroll System program in the prior year, AND

2) Paper filed your 1099’s in that prior year.

In this case, you can still utilize Method 2 by doing the following.

  1. Before you prepare your additional (or corrected) 1099’s in the previous year’s Payroll System--which you desire to e-file—make a COPY of your client in the previous year.
  2. Then proceed to prepare your additional (or corrected) 1099’s under the “PRIOR” copy of client in that previous year’s program.
  3. Then following Method 2 instructions above… When the prior year’s Payers (and file types) populate in Step 2, be sure to only select the Payer(s) which include the Control No “PRIOR”.

If you aren't licensed for that year of Payroll System

  1. Go to our Past Releases page.
  2. Download your desired year; open and run that .exe file
  3. Enter DEMO when prompted for the License code.
  4. You may need to restart your computer before running the program.

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1099 E-Filing: Filing Corrections

Applying for a Transmitter Control Code (TCC)

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