...with e-Filing to the IRS

Electronic filing (hereafter referred to as "e-Filing") is required by the IRS for filers with more than 250 information returns. However, you can still e-File if you have less than 250. E-Filing is cheaper (no pre-printed forms, envelopes, and postage!), faster, and much easier to keep up with and check the status on. Filing electronically with the IRS may sound scary to new users, but it's actually a fairly simple process, and very secure.

Getting Started
Your first step to e-Filing is to obtain a software that is IRS/SSA approved to build your file. I recommend using 1099 Express for e-Filing. They have a program for 1099's that includes ALL forms 1099, 1098, 5491, 3921, 3922, and W-2G. They have been an IRS Quality Supplier since 1996, and don't charge you any extra for e-Filing capabilities. 1099 Express also allows for UNLIMITED filers AND payees, and Combined Federal/State Filing capabilities. They also offer live tech support, you never have to talk to a machine! Click Here to download & test 1099 Express for free!

Once you've obtained your software, your next step will be getting a Transmitter Control Code (hereafter referred to as a "TCC") for free from the IRS. This is done by simply filling out Order Form 4419 and faxing it to the IRS (the fax number is located at the bottom of this form). If you've downloaded 1099 Express, you can print this form straight from the File menu.

If not, Click Here for a PDF of form 4419. The IRS will typically get your TCC to you within 3 business days.

Once you have received your TCC, you will need to save your TCC Information in your file. With 1099 Express, choose your Options menu, then click "TCC Holder Information". Fill out the information in the pop-up box, and then save your file.

Next, go to the IRS FIRE Site and set up a free account with them. This will be the site you go to and log into to e-File your returns.
TIP: They will have you set up a 10-digit PIN you'll need every time you file. I recommend using a phone number. That's the easiest way to remember a 10-digit number!

Building Your IRS File
First, you'll want to verify that your format is correct and that there are no errors in the file. With 1099 Express, choose Options, then Verify Format. If you get a message that says "Format Check OK", you're good to go. If there are errors, it will tell you how many and give you an option to see a list of these errors and what line number (payee) they're on. Correct any errors, save your file, and check your format again.
Once you've verified that your format is correct, your next step will be building the IRS text file. This is the file that will be uploaded to the IRS. With 1099 Express, choose Options, then Build IRS File-This File. It will ask you to verify that this file is for the correct tax year; if the tax year is correct, click OK. If the tax year is incorrect, click the Filer button in the top left corner, and simply change the tax year on the first screen, then click OK.
Next, it will have you set your IRS Output File Name. The software will automatically name the file IRS1.txt. This will not be changed, however, you may want to add your company name, form type, or tax year at the beginning to differenciate between files if you have multiples. For example: JonesCo_2012-1099Misc-IRS1.txt. This is also where you will choose where to save the file. I highly recommend saving your IRS file to a folder or location that you can easily access without trouble.
Once you have saved your file, a Tracking Report will pop up in text form, with your file name, location, and totals for the file you created. Print this screen, then close it. 1099 Express will ask if you'd like to connect to the FIRE site. If you're ready to file, choose yes.

Uploading Your File to the IRS
Once you've connected to the Fire site, log on to your account, then click Continue.
You should be on a page with Uncle Sam. If you are, you'll see some Menu Options on the left-hand side of the screen. You'll choose the first option, Send Information Returns.
Enter the TCC number you aquired from the IRS, and Tax ID number associated with the TCC. This will be the Tax ID you put on Order Form 4419. Click Submit.
Verify your filing information. If all is correct on the screen, just click Accept. If not, update the information and then click Accept.
Next, choose your file type. If this is an original file, one that has no corrections and has never gone to the IRS, choose Original from the file types on the left-hand side of the screen.
Enter the 10-digit PIN you set up when you created your FIRE account.
Click "Browse" to locate the IRS text file you built; once you've located this file, choose "Open", then "Upload".

You will get a response back from the IRS, with the total number of bytes they received. Print this page out, and attatch it to the Tracking Report you printed from 1099 Express. Then, verify that the number of bytes received MATCH the file size on your Tracking Report.

If your bytes match up-congratulations! You have uploaded the correct file, and will most likely have a "Good" file status. You will need to check your file status in 2-3 business days if you don't receive an e-mail saying whether it was Good, or Bad.

To Check Your File Status
Log back into the FIRE site, and click Continue.
From the Main Menu (Uncle Sam page), choose "Check File Status" from the Menu Options on the left-hand side of the screen.
Enter your TCC and Tax ID numbers. Set the Search Options however you'd like.
Click "Search", and your files will come up with their statuses. If a file is BAD, you can click the file name to see the reasoning behind the file being bad. If the file is GOOD, you're done! You have successfully e-Filed your returns to the IRS.

Contact Heather at: heather_helps@live.com

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