Contents - Index
Electronic Filing Tutorial (Step by Step)
The process of filing electronically is actually simpler than filing on paper. Many people don't realize this. After the first time you file this way, you will discover what you have been missing out on.
HOW TO USE OUR PROGRAM
Step 1: Transmitter -- This tab is for selecting which transmitter to use. Most users only have 1 transmitter so that one will automatically be highlighted. If you wish to setup a different transmitter you can do so here and highlight the one you wish to use. Make sure that all information is entered for the transmitter being used.
You can also use the button titled "Form 4419" to generate a filled out form that can be sent in to the IRS as your application for a Transmitter Control Code. Just fill out most of the transmitter information when setting up a transmitter.
Step 2: Settings -- Here you select what you wish to report. All you have to do is select the form you wish to generate a file for and then select the taxing authority. If you are sending in a file to the IRS or SSA you must select FEDERAL; otherwise choose the appropriate state for reporting.
Step 3: Select Payors -- Payors have to be tagged for inclusion. We suggest you do the following:
Step 4: Generate File -- Select the Generate File button. The list at the top is the results of your last generation. Click on the button to "Generate File". If you are submitting a file to a state, STOP at thei Step. We only provide the capability to log in to the Federal sites. You are responsible for taking the state file generated here and submitting it by logging in to your state account and uploading the file.
Step 5: AccuWage -- For W2 submission only. SSA provides a program that can be used to check the validity of your data being submitted.
Step 6: View Output -- Optionally view either the SSA or IRS File to be submitted.
Step 7: Submit -- Here you will connect directly to the SSA or IRS website. Our routine will automatically attempt to connect you based on the settings you entered for the transmitter. If you are unable to connect automatically, check the box for "Do not use auto login" and submit your file by clicking the button above the checkbox and logging in manually.
Our program only connects to Federal websites for submission. Even though we generate a state electronic file you need to connect on your own to any state website and submit their state file.
IMPORTANT - Each different type of form (i.e. W-2, 1099-MISC, 1099-DIV etc…) must be generated separately. You cannot combine different forms (i.e. 1099-MISC, 1099-INT) within the same file.
NOTE - As of calendar year 2006, SSA and IRS are no longer accepting floppy disk submissions. All submissions must be made electronically over the Internet.
APPLICATION TO FILE ELECTRONICALLY
No application is needed for filing W-2's with SSA. You will however need a PIN. You can apply for a PIN on the SSA Website. For 1099's you need to file Form 4419, which is an application to file 1099's electronically. You will be assigned a 5-digit Transmitter Control Code, which you will input into our program. Even though IRS states that the filing deadline for Form 4419 is 30 days prior to the due date of the return you will not be held to this requirement. IRS would love you to file in this manner and will accept the application up to the last minute. If you are submitting the application within the 30-day period mark "RUSH" on the application and inform them to contact you by telephone. Unlike other government agencies, the electronic filing division has their act together and will respond quickly. Once you have been assigned a Transmitter Control Code, you will use that number in subsequent filing years.
When you file on magnetic media, you are no longer required to file the transmittal forms W-3 and 1096. For W-2's you do not need to send in a transmittal Form 6559 except if you are sending your data in on magnetic tape. Form 1099's you only have to send in the transmittal Form 4804 if you do not have a PIN. A PIN for filing 1099's can be obtained from their bulletin board by dialing 304-262-2400 on your modem and logging in. Our program can produce the necessary transmittal forms for you.
Under no circumstances, are you to file Forms W-3 and 1096 along with the other transmittal forms as it will only confuse IRS/SSA and cause problems. Also never file paper forms in addition to an electronic file.
The filing deadline for submitting electronic files is always the last day in March of the following calendar year. We strongly recommend that you wait until the end of March to file your submission. The reason for this is that this provides you with plenty of time for corrections to come back from your recipients and to implement those changes before final submission. Remember, it takes more time to do piecemeal changes than to file an entire batch.
EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE
If necessary you may file for an extension of time to report information electronically (Form 8508)
WHERE TO SUBMIT THE ELECTRONIC FILE
The SSA website is www.ssa.gov
The IRS website is http://fire.irs.gov IRS either has broadband or dial-up capabilities. For those who are familiar with sending files by modem there is the IRP-BBS FIRE bulletin board system, which will accept the magnetic media file (you may use PkZip or WinZip to compress the files). The telephone number for the BBS is 304-262-2400. Log on for further instructions. In order to file with SSA, the W-2 output file has to be in the new MMREF format.
You may contact download Publication 1220 from the IRS website if you would like to read up on the specifications for filing electronically.
The process of electronic filing is very simple and we would be more than happy to assist you. If you will be filing this way, we kindly ask that you contact us in February or March for this type of support as the phones are usually busy before then.