Common Software Functions \ e-Filing to the IRS (FIRE.IRS.GOV)

e-Filing to the IRS (FIRE.IRS.GOV)

Updated: 01/11/2022 04:32 PM

Applicable Programs: 1099 Express, 1042-S Express

Important: Never send your source ('.src') file to the IRS. It will be rejected.

1099 Express and 1042-S Express allow you to e-File to the IRS using the FIRE (Filing Information Returns Electronically) site for free. However, you must have a Transmitter Control Code (TCC) (1042-S Forms require a special TCC that starts with 22). In order to get a TCC, you can view our 'Obtaining a TCC' documentation. If you don't wish to e-File yourself, we offer services through our Service Bureau that will perform all the steps below for you.

Electronic Filing Summary
  1. Build your IRS1.txt file (saves to your C Drive in the folders 'E20XX\IRSFiles').
  2. Print the Tracking Report (shown in the white screen or 'Text Viewer').
  3. Upload your IRS1.txt file to the IRS using the FIRE site (
  4. Print the 'Fire Upload Statistics' page from the IRS FIRE site as proof of filing.
  5. In 1 to 2 days, log back into the IRS FIRE site and check your 'File Status' to be sure that the file was approved.
Electronic Filing Detailed
  1. Building the IRS1 output file.
    • If file extensions (like '.src', 't42', or '.txt') are not showing, or you are not sure, see our instructions on how to enable file extensions.
    • Building the IRS file converts your source ('.src' or '.t42') file to another file in the IRS's format for e-Filing.
      • Open your source ('.src' or '.t42) file into 1099 Express or 1042-S Express. You should see payees and other data in the grid.
      • Click the 'Options' menu then 'Build IRS File - This File'. Use the suggested filename called IRS1.txt. If this is your second file, use the name IRS2.txt. The IRSX.txt files will be saved in a default folder called 'IRSFiles'. You can change this setting in the TCC Holding Information screen.
    • There may be errors that appear when you build the IRS file. 1099 Express and 1042-S Express checks all fields of you file to validate and make sure that you don't have anything that could cause errors in the IRS's format.
      • Common errors that can appear here are missing company information, missing TCC holder information, missing account numbers, and missing SSNs. There are more errors that can appear, so you just need to fix any of the issues.
      • After the errors are corrected, your source ('.src' or '.t42') file must be saved before you can continue. If a message appears that says 'Save File First', make sure to go to 'File' -> 'Save' or click the 'Save' button right below the menu bar (bar that contains 'File', 'Edit', 'Options', etc.) at the top.
      • Start over and click the 'Options' menu then 'Build IRS File - This File' and try again.
    • After the IRS1.txt file is created, you are then asked if you wish to zip (compress) the file. Normally, do not compress the file. If you have a slow internet connection or a fairly large file, you may wish to zip (compress) the file. This creates another file with the '.zip' extension. Send IRS1.txt or but not both.
    • If you have more source ('.src' or '.t42') files, just repeat the above process for each file naming the IRS file IRS2.txt, IRS3.txt, etc. or any name of your choosing. Alternatively, you can 'Build IRS File - Multiple File'.
  2. Print the Tracking Report.
    • After the IRS1.txt file is created, a white screen will appear showing information about the IRS1.txt file. There should be a print button at the bottom of the window. We recommend keeping a record of this.
  3. Uploading your IRS1.txt file.
    • Waiting for IRS to open back up to create detailed instructions.
  4. Print the File Upload Statistics page.
    • This is the only chance you will have to print the File Upload Statistics page. This page can serve as proof of delivery to the IRS. Follow the instructions on this page carefully. Be sure this page actually prints (on paper or as a pdf) out before you continue. Keep this printout with the printout of the Tracking Report you printed from the program.
  5. Check your File Status.
    • Return to the main menu. Click 'Check File Status' menu. Status should be ''Not Yet Processed'. Click the link for more information.
    • It is your responsibility to check the IRS status after your file is processed by the IRS. Within 1 or 2 days, go back to the IRS FIRE site and check the file status. If the file status is 'Good', it will be released in 10 days and posted to each person's 1040. During the 10-day grace period, you have the option to cancel the entire file by calling the IRS at (866) 455-7438.
    • If the file status is 'Bad', it will be necessary to find the reason why the file is 'Bad', correct the problem, then send the file back to the IRS as a 'Replacement File'. Most files are labeled 'Bad' because the wrong file was sent to the IRS. One of the biggest issues is uploading the source ('.src' or '.t42') instead of the IRS '.txt' file. If you need to submit a correction, please read our documentation on 'Submitting Corrections Files to the IRS' first or you may have major issues occur.

Note: If you receive a message that your TCC does not match the TIN you provided, you should call the IRS at (866) 455-7438 to get the correct TIN for your TCC. You may also get this error message if you are trying to check the file status, but no files have been uploaded to the FIRE site.

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