Table of Contents

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.
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.

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.

“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.

Access and entry web pages

An easy way to access the IRS FIRE System is through the “Connect” button in Step 3 of 1099 E-FILING Module, or you can log into the IRS FIRE website.

  1. After clicking the “Connect” button, the following dialog box will appear. It gives some important reminders before continuing to the FIRE website. Marking your file as Submitted will be covered later in the instructions.
  2. Click “OK” to continue directly to the IRS FIRE System website login. The FIRE website will be opened by your default browser in a separate window. This may take several seconds. (Note: the 1099 E-FILING Module will also remain open to Step 3.)
  3. Log in using your FIRE System account User ID and Password:
You may call the FIRE System “TSO line” for login and other issues: (866) 455-7438.
  1. 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:
  2. Select “Send Information Returns” from the left hand menu:
  3. 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 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.
  1. Click Submit.
  2. Next, note that you may need to add (or correct) your Email address. The IRS will use Email address to send submission status updates and other information (see IRS text in red below).
  3. If your Transmitter information is correct, click “Accept”.
  4. Next you normally would click "Original File" from the left-hand menu.
  5. The FIRE System may then have 2 repetitive screens (re-enter numbers, Email).
  6. 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.

Upload Process

Next you will see:

Some Browsers show a different “Format”-- Instead of “Browse” it may say, “Choose File”.
  1. Click the “Browse” or “Choose File” Button. You will next see a dialog box for locating and opening your file for upload. This may look a bit different depending on your Browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc)
    1. In the screenshot just above, the browser did not “open” to the correct file location where the correct file is stored. You must be sure to upload the correct file. Recall that in Step 3 of the 1099 E-FILING Module, the file you created was highlighted in blue (see screenshot below). Be sure to read the red text in this illustration:
    2. Here we have enlarged the File Name and Path we desire to upload to the FIRE System website:
    3. Some users choose to navigate to where their file is. However, simply pasting the “File Name and Path” from your Windows clipboard is an easy alternative.
    4. If you have just created your file in the 1099 E-FILING Module, the FIRE upload should be easy. The File Name and Path should already be on your clipboard (the Module does this “behind the scenes” when you create and save your file).
  2. Click ONCE (and only once) in the blank field next to "File name":
  3. Next click, "Ctrl + V" on your keyboard (the Windows "hotkey" for pasting). You should now see your file location pasted into the field.
    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 dialogue box can also bring the full paste into view.
  4. If the File name is correct, click "Open" (or "Save", depending on your browser) to continue.
    1. If the correct 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” button below, and click here to easily re-copy before proceeding.
Always consider whether you want to also log out of the FIRE System website for security purposes.
  1. Note how the file name now appears to the right of the “Browse” or “Choose File” button. 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 it is not the same file name, do not proceed and instead click here.
    If the correct file name is displayed beside the “Browse” (or “Choose”) button, next click the “Upload” button (on the right).
  2. After a few seconds, you will see a File Upload Statistics screen. PLEASE PRINT THIS SCREEN. You can press "Ctrl + P" on your keyboard to access your printer.
    If you do not see a “File Upload Statistics” Screen as illustrated above, then there has been a problem with the IRS receiving your Upload. Please call CFS for technical assistance (800)343-1157.
    Note: Remember to log out of the FIRE System website if you are finished.
    1. You can compare the “Total Bytes Received” to that of your intended file, which is a way to additionally check that you have uploaded the correct file (they should be the same "byte” size).
    2. Note how the IRS has “renamed” your file, which name includes:
      • "ORIG" stands for "Original" submission.
      • Your TCC should be 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 e-mail 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.
  3. For instructional purposes, we next recommend choosing the "Main Menu" button:
  4. Observe the 2nd Menu choice, “Check File Status” (by the arrow above). At this point, your file will be “Not Yet Processed”. It typically remains so for about 2 days.
    The IRS normally sends you email(s) which will update and inform you of your file’s status.
    If you do not receive acknowledgement from them as expected, or wish to check an uploaded file’s status, click on: “Check File Status”. It is the Transmitter's responsibility to check the status of submitted files.
  5. You will need to enter your TCC, and your TIN/EIN with no hyphen
    1. You will need to enter your TCC, and your TIN/EIN with no hyphen.
    2. Choose "All Files" from the dropdown menu. (Note that you may also choose specific file status options.)
    3. A maximum range of 3 months is permitted for a Date Range search. This refers to the date you uploaded/submitted your file on the Fire System website.
    4. Optionally, you can enter your FIRE assigned Filename, or your original (Payroll System) Saved File Name. (In this case, a date range is not needed.)
  6. Click "Search".
    1. If searching immediately after uploading, your result will show: "Not yet processed":
    2. Note also, how your original file name has been maintained by the FIRE System on the right (which they call: ”Your Filename”).
    3. Once processed (usually within 2-3 days), the status (“Results”) should change to "Good Not Released" (or "Bad" if there was a problem with your file). Note that:
      1. "Not Yet Processed" reflects that the IRS has received your upload.
      2. “Good Not Released” will stay so for about 10 days, before status becomes “Good, Released”.
      3. Should there be a problem which results in a “Bad” file, you may have up to 60 days (from the date of submission) to replace the bad file.
      4. See further CFS and IRS instructions regarding “FIRE Submission Status” information.
      5. If you are finished, be sure to LOG OUT of the FIRE System website. Note that the FIRE System also instructs you to close your browser after logout.
  7. It is next important to go back to the 1099 E-FILING Module to mark your file as submitted. Go back into Step 3 of the 1099 E-FILING Module, and with your uploaded file highlighted in blue, click the “Mark as Submitted” button.
    1. Some users choose not to do so until they’ve verified the file was accepted by the IRS FIRE System without errors. But we strongly recommend marking immediately as submitted—so that you don’t inadvertently upload a duplicate submission to the FIRE System.
    2. 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-submitting as an Original).
    3. Note that once you’ve marked as submitted, a small “t” will precede its Program File Name.
    4. Note: 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.
  8. As discussed, the IRS should send you email(s) verifying your file’s status. 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. See CFS and IRS instructions if you need further FIRE “Submission Status” information.

Don’t forget:

  • Any remaining 1099’s that need processing and upload!
  • Any State filing requirements
Go to Step 2 (and Step 3) of the 1099 E-FILING Module to continue to process more 1099’s for uploading. See Part One: 1099 E-FILING for detailed instructions. Steps 4 and 5 are also used for state 1099 e-filing (or media assistance), if your state e-filing is supported by Payroll System. (State e-filing instructions can be found in Steps 4 and 5, and through the “Help” button for those steps.)

How did we do?

FIRE System Upload: Navigating to your File

Printing Summaries and Reports