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1099 E-Filing: Navigating the IRS FIRE System Website

Eric Updated by Eric

All use of the FIRE System website and filing of Information Forms is entirely the user’s responsibility. This is not a replacement for IRS instructions or tutorials. Additionally, FIRE System web pages are subject to change. See IRS Pub 3609 for detailed instructions.
Unlike many websites, the Fire System website does not log you out automatically. Always keep security in mind when leaving your work or finishing your session there.
FIRE System Internet Security Technical Standards
• HTTPS 1.1 Specification
• TLS 1.2 is implemented using SHA and RSA 1024 bits during the asymmetric handshake

The Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) Production and Test System server no longer supports Secure Socket Layer (SSL) 3.0 as one of the FIRE System’s Internet Security Technical Standards. Transmitters using IE 6.0 or lower as their browser may have problems logging in and connecting to the FIRE System. Follow the steps below to connect and upload a file:
• Go to Tools > Internet Options > Advanced
• Scroll down and find Security
• Uncheck both SSL 2.0 and SSL 3.0
• Check TLS 1.2 and select “Apply”

Before you begin

You must first create your file for IRS upload in Payroll System’s: “Create 1098/1099/W-2G efile/MagMedia Files” module. Refer to 1099 E-Filing Overview.

The Create 1098/1099/W-2G efile/MagMedia Files module will often be referred to in these instructions as the 1099 E-Filing module, for simplicity.
Throughout these instructions, 1099 e-filing will be referenced. 1098 and W-2G e-filers may also follow the same instructions.
If your existing TCC hasn't been used in 2 years then it may no longer be valid and you will be required to get a new TCC. To acquire a TCC, see Applying for a Transmittal Control Code (TCC).

See IRS FIRE System login changes for login requirements.

Logging in

  1. Connect to the IRS FIRE System website in one of two ways: 1) click here, or 2) click Connect in Step 3 of the 1099 E-Filing Module in Payroll System (shown below).
  1. The login screen is displayed in your default browser. Log in using your FIRE System account User ID, Password, and Company Name exactly as it appears on the Fire System.
    The Company Name to be input exactly as it appears on the FIRE System. The Company Name is typically the Legal Business Name you used when applying for your TCC (or as you’ve updated through Form 4419). It generally should not include punctuation or special symbols (with the exception of the ampersand (“&”) or hyphen (“-“).
    it takes time for the IRS to update a recently filed Form 4419 in their system. If you’ve recently changed your legal business name on Form 4419, your new Company Name may not yet be accessible for FIRE’s internal verification.
    You may call the FIRE System TSO line for login and other issues at (866) 455-7438.
  2. After logging in, you will see a page of Important Bulletins. There may be important announcements/info on this webpage, such as planned outages of the FIRE system. After reading the bulletins, click Continue.
  3. Click Send Information Returns from the menu.
  4. On the next screen, the FIRE System will ask you to enter your TCC (Transmitter’s Control Code). This number is furnished to you (the Transmitter) by the IRS after you file IR Application.
    Do not use any hyphen with the TIN/EIN number.
    Pasting is not recommended. If you paste TIN/EIN including a hyphen, it won't enter the last digit. Copying/pasting will replace your created File Name and Path on your Windows clipboard.
  5. Click Submit.
  6. If your Transmitter information is correct, click Accept.
    You may need to add or correct your email address, which the IRS will use to send submission status updates and other information (see IRS text in red below).
  7. Click Original File from the menu to start an information return that has not yet been reported.
  8. The FIRE System may then have two repetitive screens (re-enter numbers and email).
  9. Enter the correct PIN number then click Submit. Your PIN is usually 10 digits and was self-chosen when you originally created an account on the FIRE System.

Uploading a file

Some Browsers show a different format. Instead of Browse it may say Choose File.
  1. Click Browse (some browsers may substitute Choose File instead of Browse).
  2. A File Upload dialog is displayed. Click the blank field next to File name once (and only once).
  3. Paste the file name either by typing CTRL + V, or right-clicking on the blank field and selecting Paste.
    This assumes you clicked on the correct record in the e-filing module in Payroll System, as represented below. Doing so automatically copies the correct path and file name to your clipboard. Or, you can manually navigate to your file.
    1. If just part of your file name or path appears to be missing, this is very common. It is often hidden beyond the left (or right) margin of the field. Scrolling left (or right) within the File Name field should reveal the rest of your pasted file path or name. Sometimes enlarging the size of the dialog box can also bring the full path into view.
    2. If the file name (and path) does NOT appear to have filled in (or if nothing has filled in), it may not have been on your clipboard. Click the Cancel, and click here to easily re-copy before proceeding.
  4. If the File name is correct, click Open (or Save, depending on your browser).
    The file name now appears to the right of Browse (or Choose File). This file name should be the same as the file you saved in Step 2 and Step 3 of the 1099 E-Filing module (which when you selected, was highlighted in blue).
    If the file name is NOT correct, do not proceed and instead click here.
  5. Click Upload. After a few seconds, the File Upload Statistics page appears.
    If it doesn't appear after a few seconds, call CFS tech support at (800) 343-1157. There has been a problem with the IRS receiving your uploaded file.
    Compare the Total Bytes Received to that of your intended file to verify that you have uploaded the correct file.
    Note how the IRS has “renamed” your file, which name includes:
    • "ORIG" stands for "Original" submission.
    • Your TCC in the center position.
    • Your submission number is at the end.
    More about this screen
    Note how the IRS has “renamed” your file, which name includes:
    • "ORIG" stands for "Original" submission.
    • Your TCC in the center position.
    • Your submission number is at the end.

    If this is your very first upload as a transmitter, the submission number will end in "0001". Future submissions will be numbered sequentially, "0002", "0003", etc. However, in addition to this FIRE assigned name, the FIRE System will also maintain your original uploaded file name, as we will soon illustrate.

    The red text at the bottom is a reminder that the IRS should email you the status of your file within a few days. We will also illustrate how to check the status of your file on the FIRE website, next.
  6. It is strongly recommend that you print the File Upload Statistics page. Type Ctrl + P.
  7. Be sure to go back to the FIRE System website to check your file status if they do not positively confirm the status of your file with an email in a couple of days.
    To practice checking your file status, click Main Menu and see Checking File Status in this article.
  8. Continue processing any remaining 1099 files or process your state files.

Checking your file status

See Checking your file status.

Mark your file as Submitted in Payroll System

  1. Open Payroll System.
  2. Open the 1099 E-Filing Module.
  3. Click Step 3 - IRS Submittal.
  4. Click the correct file to select it and click Mark as Submitted.
    We strongly recommend marking the file as Submitted immediately. Some users choose not to do so until they’ve verified the file was accepted by the IRS FIRE System without errors, but this may result in inadvertently uploading a duplicate submission to the FIRE System.

    Even if the file is later reported by the IRS/FIRE System as Bad, it’s useful to have it marked as Submitted. The record is important, and typically, a Bad file is REPLACED rather than re-submitted).
    Once you’ve marked as submitted, a small “t” will precede its Program File Name.
    If you later create more files in the 1099 E-Filing module, the past files that have been marked as Submitted will be grayed out.

How did we do?

1099 E-Filing: Filing Corrections

1099 E-Filing: submitting prior year files