Remote Work Glossary

What is IRS Form 1096

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    Form 1096 is a summary form. It summarizes certain types of information returns if you submit them to the IRS by mail. These forms are used by businesses to report types of transactions to the IRS and other parties, like someone who gained income from the transaction.

    IRS Form 1096 Key information

    • Form 1096 is used to summarize the information returns of tax forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G.

    • Form 1096 needs to be submitted only if you’re filing in paper form. Not needed if you use e-filing services or the IRS FIRE system.

    • File a Form 1096 for each type of tax form—do not send a single Form 1096 for all your information returns.

    • General due date to submit Form 1096 is February 28, but deadlines vary.

    • Form 1096 has to be completed on a scannable copy; submitting photocopies of the original will not be accepted.

    What is IRS Form 1096?

    Internal Revenue Service Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns, is used to summarize the information returns of tax forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, or W-2G by a company in the United States. The 1096 form only used when you file by mail.

    Using just one 1096 form to summarize all the types of returns you are filing isn't enough—instead, you need to complete and send a Form 1096 for each type of tax return form you're submitting.

    What's the purpose of the 1096 form?

    The 1096 form is like a cover sheet—it summarizes the number of forms you are submitting to the IRS. This makes it easier for the IRS to scan and process your return.

    Who needs to file IRS Form 1096?

    If you meet all of the following criteria, you must file a Form 1096 as part of your submission:

    • You are filing any of the following tax forms: W-2G, 1097-BTC, 1098, 1098-E, 1098-T, 1099-A, 1099-B, 1099-C, 1099-CAP, 1099-DIV, 1099-G, 1099-H, 1099-INT, 1099-LTC, 1099-MISC, 1099-NEC, 1099-OID, 1099-PATR, 1099-Q, 1099-R, 1099-S, 1099-SA, 3921, 3922, 5498, 5498-ESA, 5498-SA.

    • You are filing by mail, on paper

    • You aren’t submitting more than 250 forms of a single type (if so, you’re asked to file online)

    If you’re a small business owner, you’ll likely use Form 1096 to submit 1099-NECs, which you use to report payments to contractors.

    1096 filing example

    Suppose that during a tax year, you use services of an independent contractor who is paid $1,000 and another who is paid $5,000. In this case, you will fill out two IRS Form 1099-NEC (Non-Employee Compensation) forms. If you’re submitting these by paper to the IRS, you’ll need a 1096 form to accompany your submission.

    If you’re filing several types of information return forms, you would need a separate Form 1096 for each type. For example, if you’re also filing 1099-R forms for retirement payments, you will need another 1096 form to accompany those separately.

    If you submit the forms via e-file, you don't need to file a Form 1096.

    Where to get a copy of IRS Form 1096?

    You must use a special scannable version of Form 1096. A copy you print yourself won’t be accepted. You can order forms from the IRS and get acceptable versions by mail. Alternatively, you can get the forms at office supply stores or your tax preparation software.

    Where to mail IRS Form 1096?

    The mailing address depends on your principal business location. The IRS assigns mailing locations based on the state your business’ principal location is located in. Mail your Form 1096 and Copy As of the respective paper information returns to your designated IRS office, which are listed on the IRS website.

    What is the due date to file Form 1096?

    The filing deadline for Form 1096 depends on the filing deadline of the form it accompanies. The filing deadline is the same whether you file by mail or online.

    For tax year 2022,

    • With Forms 1099-NEC, file by January 31, 2023

    • With Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, or W-2G, file by February 28, 2023

    • With Forms 5498, file by May 31, 2023.

    Keep in mind your non-IRS recipient usually needs to receive their copy earlier—generally by January 31 of the year following the tax year.

    How to fill in IRS Form 1096?

    • Fill in general information such as name and full address (city, state, country, ZIP or foreign postal code) in the Filer's section. You should also provide information about the person to contact: name, phone number, fax number, and email address.

    • Fill in Box 1 with your EIN (Employer Identification Number) or Box 2 with your SSN (social security number) if you don't have an EIN.

    • State the total number of forms you are summarizing in Box 3. Keep in mind this number should be the total number of forms of a single type of form.

    • Enter the total federal income tax withheld on all the forms you are summarizing in Box 4. If you didn't withhold any federal tax, don't leave this box empty but enter a zero.

    • Enter the total amount of reported payments on all the forms you are summarizing in Box 5. Again keep in mind the total amount should be calculated for a single type of form you are submitting.

    • Mark the type of form you are submitting the summary for. If you are submitting 1099-NEC forms, enter an X under it in Box 6.

    File your tax forms on time

    If you're a business owner, you know that you need to take care of your taxes and ensure you file them in a timely manner to avoid legal issues and financial penalties for missing deadlines. If you have a small business, it can be particularly challenging to keep all that information in mind at all times.

    Deel helps businesses of all sizes hire and pay employees and contractors, no matter where they’re located. Deel offers free electronic filing for US contractor tax forms, so you can submit 1099-NECs to the IRS in one click and never have to worry about Form 1096.

    Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal, tax, or any other advice. Check official Internal Revenue Service documentation for more info