1096 Form Instructions: Everything You Need To Know

1096 Form
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Are you completely unfamiliar with the 1096 form? Or does the word knock you off your feet? That’s okay because this post will tell you not only what the 1096 form is, but also what it’s used for and the 2023 due date. And just in case you’re wondering “where can I get a 1096 form”, don’t worry, we’ll cover that as well.

So, come along with us as we set the ball rolling!

What Is IRS 1096 Form?

IRS Form 1096 is a tax form that is used by tax-exempt organizations to prepare their federal filings. It is most commonly referred to as an Annual Summary and Transmittal of US Information Returns. Even though tax-exempt organizations don’t pay some federal and state taxes, they are to report certain information to the IRS.

1096 Form is a cover sheet used to mail forms to the IRS for reporting non-employee income and filling purposes. As a small business, you’ll most likely be utilizing it to submit Form 1099, which is for notifying the IRS if you pay an independent contractor more than $600 in a fiscal year.

Other forms that require a 1096 cover page include forms 1097, 1098, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8935, and W-2G. The 1096 form is used when submitting these types of forms, known as information returns, in a paper format; however, not when transmitting them electronically

For example, your company pays $2,500 to a contractor and $1,500 to another in a single tax year. To tell the IRS about the amount of non-employee income, you must send a form 1099-MISC—or, beginning in the tax year 2023, a Form 1099-NEC. Form 1096 will be used to summarize the information provided.

Form 1096 Due Date For The Year 2023

The IRS expects most information returns, as well as Form 1096, to be filed by February 28 of the year following the tax year. That means you must complete the documents for the tax year 2021 by February 28, 2023. The deadline for providing a copy of an information return to a non-IRS recipient is normally January 31 of the year following the tax year under consideration.

If you use Form 1096 to submit Form 1099-NEC, you must submit both forms to the IRS by February 1, 2023. Alternatively, the due date for filing on form 1096 on paper is March 1, 2023, likewise, if you’re filing electronically.

However, if you’re submitting form 1096 along with forms 1097, 1098, 3921, 3922, or W-2G, the due date is February 28, 2022. The deadline for providing a copy of an information return to a non-IRS recipient is frequently January 31 of the year after the tax year. Although the deadlines vary; some information returns and 1096s must be ready for submission as early as January 31 and as late as May 31.

On the other hand, for failure to file any of these forms within 30 days of the due date, the penalty is $100. The penalty then further increases to $250, if you do not file by August 1, 2023. You’ll only need to file IRS Form 1096 if you’re submitting your annual information returns to the IRS by mail. But, you do not need to complete IRS Form 1096 if you’re filing information forms electronically, either through the IRS FIRE system or a tax preparation software.

If a due date coincides with a Saturday, Sunday, or a federal holiday, then it is the following business day.

Steps To Complete a 1096 Form

There are two main parts:

The first section includes boxes 1-5, then box 6. While the first section requests basic information such as:

  1. First, the name and address of your company. And the name of the person to contact and their email address, phone number, and fax number.
  2. employer identification number. If you don’t have an EIN, write down your Social Security Number instead.
  3. The total number of forms that you are sending with 1096. If you’re filing ten distinct 1099-MISC forms, for example, you’ll put “10”. Also, keep in mind that they must all be of the same type.
  4. Then, in box 4, you’ll enter “federal income tax withheld’. This figure will be dependent on the information returns you’re submitting with Form 1096. So add up any federal income tax withheld and enter the total in this box. 
  5. The entire amount of reported payments on all forms you’re sending, such as the total for all 1099-MISC forms.
  6. Box 6, the second part of the 1096 form lists every form that could be attached to Form 1096. There is a box beneath each form name; mark an “X” within to indicate which form you are attaching to that particular Form 1096.

However, note that the information you put applies to you, not the independent contractor for whom you are submitting 1099. The Form 1096 instructions are not unnecessarily complex — as a summary document, completing this tax form is not difficult. Nonetheless, there are several steps you may take to make this tax process go more smoothly.

Where to Get a 1096 Form

Given that the IRS scans the Forms it receives, they prefer that businesses utilize scannable documentation when submitting the forms. That means photocopies of originals don’t count. Moreover, you can get the scannable forms on the IRS’s Order Forms & Publications website. Also, they’re available at office supply stores and through tax preparation software.

You can as well order the forms through a call on 1-800-tax-form (800-829-3676) Monday through Friday, 7 a.m-10 p.m local time (PST in Alaska and Hawaii). When you do, make sure to have your name, address, and contact information on hand.

Further, when submitting these forms, simply print the form and Form 1096 from the IRS website. Proceed to fill them, and mail them to the appropriate IRS address based on your business location.

How to file IRS Electronically

If you choose to file electronically, you can easily outsource your tax operations to software, service provider, or another tax professional who will either work with you or file entirely on your behalf. Even if you pay extra charges to deal with those services, you will have peace concerning your tax form. Plus. you’ll have time to prepare them. 

Although you may be reluctant to take your tax operations online, especially if you own a small business, the benefits far outweigh the difficulty of manually filling out tax forms and mailing them to the IRS. Furthermore, filing electronically will save time, effort, and money and hopefully have your returns processed faster with fewer errors. And if you have 250 or more of any type of information return, you must send it electronically rather than utilizing Form 1096.

List Of Forms That Need The 1096 Form Cover Page And Their Uses

  • Form 1099: Form 1099 generally reports various types of miscellaneous income. However, keep in mind that, while the 1099-MISC is probably the most well-known version of 1099, there are 20 different versions of this form. As a result, if you mailed 1099-MISC documents along with a Form 1099-A, you would still need to fill out a separate Form 1096 for each.
  • W-2G: This IRS form is for reporting gambling winnings as well as any federal income tax withheld.
  • 3922: Corporations use this form to report each transfer of legal title to a share of stock acquired by an employee as a result of the employee utilizing an option under an employee stock purchase plan.
  • 1097: This form is used by the issuers of certain tax credit bonds as well as the credit beneficiaries to report the distribution of their tax credits to the IRS.
  • 1098: This IRS form is intended to report mortgage interest of $600 or more received in the course of your business throughout the fiscal year.
  • 5498: This form is filled out for each person for whom you kept an IRA account.
  • Form 3921: Corporations utilize this IRS form to report each transfer of stock to any individual linked to that person’s use of an incentive stock option.

Every Form 1099, 1097, 1098, 3921, 3922, 5498, 8935, and W-2G you mail to the IRS need Form 1096 cover page. Since each form requires its own 1096, there should only be one “X” mark in each 1096 you submit.

Can I download a 1096 form?

Due to its requirement for a scannable format and the inclusion of fields the IRS employs to monitor compliance with entity and payee form submission requirements, 1096 tax forms cannot be downloaded from the IRS website. Furthermore, 1096 tax forms are only accessible for paper submissions; they cannot be used with an electronic tax return.

Can I send multiple 1096 forms in one envelope?

Yes, you can mail the IRS several 1096 papers in a single envelope. It is acceptable to mail numerous forms in a single envelope.

What happens if you don’t file 1096?

The deadline for submitting Form 1096 along with Forms 1097, 1098, 3921, 3922, or W-2G is March 31. If you submit any of these forms after the deadline but before the deadline has passed, the fine is $50 per form. The fine increases to $100 after that. The fine increases to $260 if you don’t submit it by August 1.

Do 1096 forms need to be mailed separately?

Sort the forms into groups based on form numbers, and send a different Form 1096 for each group. If you have to submit Forms 1098 and 1099-A, for instance, fill out one Form 1096 to transfer Forms 1098 and another Form 1096 to communicate Forms 1099-A. You don’t have to send in the original and revised returns separately.

Can 1096 be printed on plain paper?

Follow these instructions on each report to print your forms. For the Federal copies ONLY, you will need authentic blank 1099-NEC and 1096 documents in red ink. On plain paper, more copies can be produced.

Do I need to file 1096 with IRS?

Remember that IRS Form 1096 is only required for the mail transmittal of U.S. information returns; if you want to submit your information returns electronically instead, you don’t need to be concerned with attaching Form 1096.

Who fills out 1096?

Who must submit an IRS Form 1096? If you’re mailing your yearly information returns to the IRS, IRS Form 1096 is the only document you’ll need to complete. IRS Form 1096 is not necessary if you submit these information forms online using the IRS FIRE System or a tax preparation program.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Send 1096 and 1099 Form Together?

Yes. The 1096 and 1099 Copy A forms must be mailed simultaneously.

Can I Download a 1096 Form?

Because they must be in a scannable format and contain information that the IRS uses to track compliance with entity and payee form submissions, 1096 tax forms cannot be downloaded from the IRS website. Furthermore, 1096 tax forms are only available on paper.

Can I Mail More Than One 1096 in The Same Envelope?

Fill out a separate Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of US Information Returns, for each type of 1099 you filed. For example, file one 1096 to summarize all of your 1099 Miscellaneous; one 1096 to summarize all of your 1099 Interest; and one 1096 to summarize all of your 1099 Dividends. Send the 1096 and 1099 in the same envelope.

Can I Fill Out 1096 Form By Hand?

Yes, you can handwrite a 1099 or W2, but do so with extreme caution. To avoid processing problems, the handwriting must be perfectly legible using black ink block letters. According to the IRS, “handwritten forms are permissible, but they must be entirely readable and correct to avoid processing problems

Do I Need To Send a Corrected 1096?

Send the revised form to the receiver, and prepare the red Copy A to send to the IRS with the Form 1096 transmittal if filing on paper. You do not need to send in a Form 1096 for electronic filing, nor should you send in the initially filed forms with the correction to the IRS.

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