What Is IRS Form 1096?

IRS Form 1096 is a summary and transmittal tax form that gives the IRS information on the Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, or W-2G your company sent out to other recipients. Your business needs to use it only when you submit those forms to the IRS in a paper format.

When and How To File Form 1096 (February 28 of the year after the tax year)

The due date for filing most information returns and Form 1096 with the IRS is February 28 of the year after the tax year.

 The dates vary; some information returns and 1096s are due to the IRS as early as January 31 and some as late as May 31. The IRS’s General Instructions for Certain Information Returns (PDF) gives a complete list of due dates for all types of information returns, starting on page 26.

  • The form is used only when submitting those information forms to the IRS in a paper format; it’s not needed when transmitting information returns electronically.
  • You must submit a separate 1096 for every type of information return you prepared, even if you prepared only one of each kind.
  • If you have 250 or more of any type of information return, you must electronically submit that those returns instead of using Form 1096.

Who Uses Form 1096?

Business owners who want to submit one or more of the seven kinds of information returns to the IRS by mail in paper form must use Form 1096. If you are filing your information returns electronically, you do not need to use Form 1096.

Where To Get Form 1096

Because the IRS scans the Forms 1096 it receives, the agency wants companies submitting the forms to use scannable, official documents. Photocopies of originals are not acceptable. You can order the forms from the IRS’s Order Forms & Publications website. You may also find forms at office supply stores or through your tax preparation software.

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