Stay up-to-date on tax regulations with our exploration of changes and updates to the 1096 form for the current tax year. Understand the implications for businesses and ensure smooth compliance with the latest requirements.

As the tax year comes to a close, it's crucial for businesses to be aware of any changes or updates to tax forms. The 1096 form, in particular, serves as a summary document for various information returns, providing the IRS with an overview of a business's filing activity. In this blog post, we will discuss the changes and updates to the 1096 form for the current tax year, highlighting their implications for businesses and how to ensure smooth compliance.

Filing Deadline

One notable change to the 1096 form is the revised filing deadline. In the past, the deadline for submitting the 1096 form, along with associated information returns such as the 1099-MISC form, was February 28th (or March 31st for electronic filings). However, starting from this tax year, the deadline for both paper and electronic filings is January 31st. This change aims to align the 1096 form's due date with the due date for furnishing recipient copies of the 1099-MISC form to payees.

Revisions in Box 1

Businesses must also pay attention to the revisions in box 1 of the 1096 form, which now requires the filer to indicate the number of information returns filed, rather than the number of forms transmitted. This change ensures clearer reporting and helps prevent errors in reporting the total number of forms.

Electronic Filing Requirements

Another significant update relates to the 1096 form's electronic filing requirements. Previously, businesses with 250 or more information returns were required to submit them electronically. However, starting from this tax year, any business—regardless of size—with 250 or more information returns must file them electronically. This update aims to streamline the filing process and improve efficiency in tax return processing.

Direct Sales Reporting

Furthermore, the IRS has introduced changes in the 1096 form's instructions to address the requirement for reporting direct sales of more than $5,000. Businesses engaged in direct sales totaling $5,000 or more during the year must report them on Form 1099-B, instead of including them in box 1 of the 1096 form. This change ensures accurate reporting and provides clarity for businesses engaged in direct sales transactions.

How to Ensure Compliance

To ensure smooth compliance with these changes, businesses need to stay organized and keep abreast of their filing responsibilities. Maintaining accurate records of all information returns filed, ensuring timely filing and furnishing of forms, and understanding the specific requirements outlined in the 1096 form's instructions are essential. Moreover, leveraging technology and utilizing software solutions can simplify the filing process and help minimize errors.

Businesses should also be mindful of penalties for non-compliance with the updated 1096 form requirements. Failure to file correct and timely returns may result in penalties ranging from $50 to $550 per form, depending on the delay in filing. It's crucial to allocate sufficient time and resources to ensure accurate and timely completion of the 1096 form to avoid any unnecessary penalties.


In conclusion, staying up-to-date with changes and updates to the 1096 form for the current tax year is crucial for businesses to ensure compliance with the latest requirements. Familiarizing yourself with the revised filing deadline, changes in box 1 reporting, electronic filing requirements, and reporting of direct sales is essential. By staying organized, leveraging technology, and understanding the specific instructions provided by the IRS, businesses can navigate the updated 1096 form smoothly, minimize errors, and avoid penalties. Start preparing early, and remember, compliance is key!