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W-2 and 1099 e-filing: Getting Started

Eric Updated by Eric

Follow these steps prior to e-filing W-2's and 1099's.

  1. Determine if you are required to e-file. See IRS lowers e-filing threshold.
    Waivers may be automatically obtained by filing Form 8508 (for the first time) and should be filed at least 45 days before the form deadline (e.g. December 17th for a form due January 31st).
  2. Purchase the necessary CFS software, if you haven't already done so.
  3. Get set up to e-file 1099's.
  4. Get set up to e-file W-2's.
  5. In CFS Payroll System, prepare the W-2's and 1099's you will be e-filing.
    Check for missing or incorrect information on each 1099, such as employee’s SSN, name, address, city, state, and zip code. Also verify the accuracy of all wage data.
    Be sure to enter any required state income and withholding if it is required by your state.

What CFS software is needed to e-file

The following CFS software is required prior to e-filing W-2's and/or 1099s.

CFS is not a third-party transmitter.  CFS does not e-file the W-2/1099s; you do. The W2/1099 E-File add-on will allow you to create the file from your returns - which you will then need to upload to the appropriate agency.

Getting set up to e-file 1099's

  1. Read this important information regarding e-filing 1099s.
  2. Obtain a FIRE TCC code to e-file 1099's.
    If you do not already have your TCC, it can be a lengthy application process.
  3. Create an IRS FIRE account.
    The IRS FIRE website is closed from November 26, 2023 through January 7, 2024. Check back after that date to create an account.
  4. Generate 1099 forms.
  5. Generate the files necessary to e-file 1099 forms. See 1099 E-Filing Module Overview.

Getting set up to e-file W-2's

  1. Read this important information regarding e-filing W-2's.
  2. Register with the BSO to e-file W-2's.
  3. Request access to the SSA Services Suite for Employers on the BSO website.
  4. Generate W-2 forms.
  5. Generate the files necessary to e-file W-2 forms. See W-2 E-Filing Module Overview.

Important information

  • Each state has their own file specifications, filing requirements, and due dates, often different from federal due date. Be sure to review your state's filing requirements both in this help file and on your state's website. Electronic files for state submittals are done separately from the federal.
  • Do not submit the federal file to your state(s).

E-filing 1099's

  • When preparing your 1099’s in CFS W2/1099 Payroll System, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE PROPER STATE SELECTED FOR EACH 1099! Make sure your 1099 is assigned to the right state. See 1099 State Selection.
  • The IRS FIRE System typically is not in operation for 1099 e-filing from about early December to early January.
  • CA e-Filing is Mandatory if you e-Filed your 1099's to the IRS (regardless of the number of 1099's).
  • There is no need to file federal Form 1096 if filing 1099's electronically.
  • If you file electronically DO NOT send paper copies. This will result in a duplicate filing.
  • While there is a new IRS portal for e-filing 1099's called IRIS, we recommend using the FIRE portal. See Can 1099s be filed with IRIS (Information Returns Intake System)?
  • Payroll System does NOT support the Combined Federal/State Filing Program. You may be required to submit a separate file to your state.
  • Filing corrections? See 1099 E-Filing: Filing Corrections.

E-filing W-2's

  • Forms W-2 must be completed and saved first using the W-2 – Wage and Tax Statement module in the W-2/1099 program of Payroll System or transferred from 941/940.
  • Be sure to enter any state income or withholding that must be reported to the state. Then the e-file/MagMedia program can create, save, and manage specially formatted electronic files containing the W-2 data.
  • The user must manually submit the files by uploading them to the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Business Services Online (BSO) website. The status of the submittals must be monitored by the user logging back into the BSO website.

How did we do?

Uploading 1099 files to CA SWIFT website

What to do when you receive your FIRE TCC