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How to File Paper Forms
How and where to file 1098, 1099 and 1096 forms with the IRS
How and where to file 1098, 1099 and 1096 forms with the IRS

Here’s everything you need to know to file by paper to the IRS.

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Written by Adams Tax Forms
Updated over a week ago

Know your quantity

If you’re filing 250 or more information returns, STOP! You have exceeded the IRS paper filing threshold and are required to file electronically. (Heads up, that threshold will reduce next tax year to 100 or more returns.)

As an authorized eFile provider, Tax Forms Helper can still help you fill, prepare and eFile your forms directly to the IRS, SSA and many states.

Include your summary transmittal

Form 1096 is the Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns.

You must submit one of these summary transmittals with Copy A forms for each of the following: 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G to the IRS.

Instructions for completing Form 1096 are listed on the form. Or select your records and click “generate 1096” to print to a pre-printed red form.

Know your required format

Paper forms are scanned for the fastest possible processing in order to manage the tremendous volume of IRS returns.

The IRS asks that your 1096 and Copy A forms follow these 11 instructions, designed to speed their automation processes. If your forms fail to meet any of these requirements, the resulting slowdowns may prove costly. The IRS may assess fines for each incorrectly filed document.

Do not cut or separate Copies A of the forms that are printed two or three to a sheet, except for Form W-2G. Generally, Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, and 5498 are printed two or three to an 8" x 11" sheet. Form 1096 is printed one to an 8" x 11" sheet. These forms must be submitted to the IRS on the 8" x 11" sheet. If at least one form on the page is completed, you must submit the entire page. Forms W-2G are an exception and may be separated and submitted as single forms. Send your W2G forms to the IRS in a flat mailing (not folded).

  1. No photocopies of any forms are acceptable.

  2. Do not staple, tear, or tape any of these forms. It will interfere with the IRS’s ability to scan the documents.

  3. Pinfeed holes on the form are not acceptable. Pinfeed strips outside the 8" x 11" area must be removed before submission without tearing or ripping the form. Substitute forms prepared on continuous or strip form paper must be burst and stripped to conform to the size specified for a single sheet (8" x 11") before they are filed with the IRS.

  4. Do not use a form to report information that is not properly reportable on that form. If you are unsure of where to report the data, call the information reporting customer service site at 1-866-455-7438 (toll-free).

  5. Report information only in the appropriate boxes provided on the forms. Make only one entry in each box unless otherwise indicated in the form’s specific instructions.

  6. Do not submit anything other than red ink copies to the IRS.

  7. Do not use prior year forms unless you are reporting prior year information; do not use subsequent year forms for the current year. Because forms are scanned, you must use the current year form to report current year information.

  8. Use the official forms or substitute forms that meet the specifications in Pub. 1179. If you submit substitute forms that do not meet the current specifications and that are not scannable, you may be subject to a penalty for each return for improper format.

  9. Do not use dollar signs ($) (they are pre-printed on the forms), ampersands (&), asterisks (*), commas (,), or other special characters in money amount boxes.

  10. Do not use apostrophes (’), asterisks (*), or other special characters on the payee name line.

When to file

Use this Help link to stay on top of all your IRS Filing deadlines.

Where to file

Send all information returns filed on paper to the following:

If your principal business, office or agency, or legal residence in the case of an individual, is located in …

Use the following address …

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, Virginia

Internal Revenue Service
Austin Submission Processing Center
P.O. Box 149213
Austin, TX 78714

Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
P.O. Box 219256
Kansas City, MO 64121-9256

California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Ogden, UT 84201

If your legal residence or principal place of business or principal office or agency is outside the United States, file with the Internal Revenue Service, Austin Submission Processing Center, P.O. Box 149213, Austin, TX 78714.

State and local tax departments

Contact the applicable state and local tax department as necessary for reporting requirements and where to file.

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