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1096 Tax Forms

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The U.S. Internal Revenue Service tax code requires hundreds of different tax forms and schedules to let individuals and entities file taxes and report other IRS obligations. 1096 tax forms are transmittal sheets that contain summary information for accompanying the filing of other IRS forms pertaining to various nonwage, non-tip, and non-commission payments made by entities to recipient payees. Staples carries a variety of tax return supplies that help you receive the best possible refund.

The IRS Requires Printed 1096 Tax Forms
Entities are required to use the printed 1096 tax form available from manufacturers certified by the IRS. Tax forms cannot simply be downloaded from the IRS website, because it has to be in a scannable format, containing fields that the IRS uses to track compliance with entity and payee form submissions. The printed version is also important because electronic filing is allowed only under a few exemptions, or if an entity has to report the filing of more than 250 of any specific form. The IRS may impose penalties for not using the required printed 1096 tax form.

1096 Tax Forms Cover a Wide Range of Payments and Schedules
1096 tax forms have to be filed for forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, W-2G, and 1099-MISC. Each of these return schedules consists of various sub-schedules so that more than 30 different forms must also have an accompanying 1096 tax form for IRS informational purposes. W-2 tax forms cover an eclectic range of payments to individuals or other entities. They include, for instance, gambling, sweepstakes, and prize winnings, payments for legal, broker, and other services provided by someone other than an employee, crop insurance and fishing boat proceeds, rental property income, income from interest and dividends, sales proceeds and other miscellaneous income, cash aid from a notional principal contract, medical and health payments, and even cash payments for fish that are purchased from someone engaged in the trade or business of catching fish. One 1096 form must be filed for each group of return forms to be filed for these and a host of other payouts and payments.

Is There a Special Time Frame for Filing 1096 Tax Forms?
The IRS needs the 1096 forms that accompany the seven other return schedules normally by the last day of February for any given year. The one exception is for 1099 tax forms, which is due along with the 1096 form before the last day of January for a given year if non-employee compensation payments are also being reported.

What Are the Specific IRS Standards That the Printed 1096 Tax Forms Must Meet?
The tax forms that accompany the seven broad payment reporting schedules must be printed in optical character recognition (OCR) red ink so that the summary information can be scanned by IRS OCR software programs. Tax software greatly expedites the tracking capability of the IRS in matching payment reporting schedules to the payments made by entities. The ink is heat-resistant and smear-proof, while also offering the most legible line patterns for optimal OCR scanners. The OCR ink is printed on special 20-pound bond paper that is jam-resistant during the printing process.

Is Help Available for Completing the 1096 Tax Forms and Accompanying Schedules?
Manufacturers of IRS tax forms, such as Adams®, also produce instruction sheets for completing all IRS forms that payer entities and payment recipients are liable for under the IRS tax code. Many of the manufacturers also make software available to assist in the process, in the form of online tools that are compatible with Windows®, Mac, and other operating systems.

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