How to Successfully File a 1096 Form: A Step-by-Step Guide

Confused about filing a 1096 form? Fear not. This step-by-step guide provides the clarity you need, ensuring a smooth and accurate submission process for your business.
how to file a 1096 form
Written by
Ontop Team

Filing a 1096 form doesn't have to be complicated. This step-by-step guide breaks down the process, highlighting key considerations and potential pitfalls. Equip yourself with the knowledge needed to successfully file the 1096 form for your business.

As a responsible business owner, you're probably already familiar with the various tax forms you need to file each year. One such form is the 1096 form, also known as the Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns. This form is used to summarize and transmit forms 1099, 1097, 1098, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G to the IRS. Filing this form accurately and on time is crucial to avoiding any penalties or fines, so let's dive into the steps necessary to successfully file your 1096 form.

Step 1: Gather the necessary forms and information

Before you begin the filing process, you'll need to gather all the pertinent information. This includes ensuring that you have all the required 1099 forms, as well as any other forms listed on the 1096 form. Double-check that you have the correct number of forms for each category and that they are filled out correctly. Remember, accuracy is key to avoiding any potential issues in the future.

Step 2: Check the filing deadline

Next, you'll need to determine the filing deadline for your 1096 form. The deadline can vary depending on the type of form you're filing and whether you choose to file electronically or by mail. It's crucial to mark this date on your calendar to ensure you have enough time to complete the filing process.

Step 3: Verify the correct address

When filing your 1096 form, it's essential to send it to the correct address. The address can differ depending on whether you're filing electronically or by mail. Make sure to double-check the IRS instructions or consult with a tax professional to ensure you're sending your form to the correct address.

Step 4: Complete the form accurately

Now it's time to complete the 1096 form itself. The form will ask for specific information, including your business name, address, tax identification number, and the total number of forms being transmitted. Take your time and ensure that all the information is entered correctly. Any errors or omissions could lead to delays or penalties later on.

Step 5: Transcribe the totals from each form

One of the crucial aspects of filing a 1096 form is accurately transcribing the totals from each individual form you're transmitting. This means you'll need to add up the amounts from all the 1099 forms or any other applicable forms and enter the totals in the appropriate boxes on the 1096 form. Again, precision is key here.

Step 6: Review and double-check

Before submitting your 1096 form, take the time to review and double-check all the information. Verify that the totals match the totals from the individual forms, confirm that the business information is accurate, and ensure that there are no other errors or omissions. A thorough review can go a long way in preventing any unnecessary issues down the line.

Step 7: Submit your form on time

Once you're confident that everything is accurate, it's time to submit your 1096 form. If you're filing electronically, follow the IRS guidelines for e-filing. If you're filing by mail, make sure to send your form with sufficient time to reach the IRS before the deadline. Remember, late submissions can result in penalties, so it's essential to adhere to the filing deadline.


In conclusion, successfully filing a 1096 form involves careful preparation, accurate completion, and adherence to deadlines. By following this step-by-step guide, you'll equip yourself with the knowledge needed to navigate the process smoothly. Remember, if you ever have any questions or concerns, it's always best to consult with a tax professional or reach out to the IRS for guidance. Good luck with your filing!

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