How to Prepare & File Form 1096 to the IRS

What is Form 1096?  Form 1096, or Annual Summary and Transmittal of information Returns, is a summary return, which shows the totals from information returns and must be submitted to the IRS along with these returns, such as forms 1099, 1098, 3921, 3922, 5496 and W4-G. Form 1096 includes information specific to the employer as well as information specific to the forms being filed.

You must submit a separate 1096 for every type of return you have given to a recipient. For example, if you prepared and submitted three 1099-MISC forms and two 1099-R forms, you have to submit a 1096 summarizing the 1099-MISC forms and another 1096 summarizing the 1099-R forms.

When Must Form 1096 be Submitted? Form 1096 must be submitted to the IRS no later than the last business day of February each year, along with the applicable returns which it summarizes.

How Do I Complete Form 1096?

  • Enter the name of your business (as the "FILER") and address; a name of a person to contact, and an email address, phone number and fax number. If you have been provided with a preaddressed label from the IRS, affix it in this area.
  • Enter your Employer ID Number (Box 1) or Social Security Number (Box 2), if you don't have an EIN. An Employer Identification Number is issued by the IRS when a business commences. If you are a sole proprietor and do not have an Employer Identification Number, enter your Social Security number in Box 2.
  • In Box 3, enter the total number of forms you are submitting with this 1096. Do not include voided forms. Additionally, do not enter the number of pages accompanying Form 1096 since certain IRS forms have more than one form per page.
  • In Box 4, enter the total federal income tax withheld on all the forms you are submitting. If you didn't withhold any federal income tax, indicate "0".
  • In Box 5, enter the total amount of reported payments on all the forms you are submitting. 
  • In Box 6, enter an "X" in the box for the type of form you are submitting. For example, if you are submitting 1099-MISC forms, enter an X in the 1099-MISC box.
  • Check Box 7 if you will not be required to file Form 1096 in the future.
  • Sign and date Form 1096 before mailing to the address noted in the instructions.

Submit Form 1096 To IRS

Form 1096 must be mailed to the IRS address noted in the instructions. You must submit the red scannable Form to the IRS. Form 1096 found on the IRS website is only for informational purposes. Don't download and print a 1096 from the web and submit it; you will be subject to a $50 fine for submitting a 1096 form that is not scannable.  

If you are submitting 250 or more forms, you must file electronically.