IRS Form 1096

What is IRS Form 1096 ?


IRS Form 1096, known as the "Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns," is an essential document for businesses in the United States filing certain types of information returns by mail with the IRS.

Purpose and Use:

  • Summary Form: Form 1096 functions as a cover sheet, summarizing information returns for the IRS. It facilitates the IRS's scanning and processing of these returns.
  • Applicable When Filing by Mail: Required only for paper filing. If you're e-filing, Form 1096 is not necessary.

Specific Forms Summarized by Form 1096:

It's used for summarizing tax forms such as 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G.

Who Needs to File Form 1096?

Businesses filing any of the aforementioned forms by mail and not exceeding the threshold of 250 forms of a single type (which mandates e-filing) need to submit Form 1096.

Key Filing Details:

  • Scannable Form Required: A specific scannable version of Form 1096 is needed; photocopies or self-printed versions are not accepted.
  • Acquiring Form 1096: You can obtain it by ordering from the IRS, or from office supply stores or through tax preparation software.
  • Mailing Address: Varies based on the principal business location, details of which are available on the IRS website.
  • Filing Deadlines: These depend on the type of form Form 1096 is summarizing (e.g., January 31 for 1099-NEC, February 28 for forms like 1099-MISC, May 31 for 5498).

Filling in Form 1096:

  • Filer's Details: Include name, address, and contact information.
  • Identification Numbers: Enter EIN or SSN as applicable.
  • Summary Data: State the total number of forms, total federal income tax withheld (if any), and the total amount of reported payments.
  • Indicate Type of Form: Mark the specific type of form you are summarizing.

Business Implications:

  • Timely and accurate submission of Form 1096, alongside the respective information returns, is crucial for compliance with IRS regulations.
  • For businesses handling various information returns, it's important to stay organized and understand the specific requirements for each type of return to avoid potential penalties and ensure smooth operations.

In summary, IRS Form 1096 is a critical document for businesses filing paper-based information returns, serving as a summarizing tool for various types of tax-related forms submitted to the IRS. Its proper and timely filing is an important aspect of business tax compliance.