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If you’ve been reluctant to try e-filing for certain returns, get ready for change: As of Dec. 1, IRS will no longer accept magnetic media for information returns. The new rule applies to Forms 1098, 1099, 5498 and W2-G.
After that date, if you have too many returns to file paper versions (or you simply don’t want to do paper returns) filing electronically through IRS’ FIRE system is your only option.
If you’ve been using mag media to file, there’s no application process to use FIRE. You can use the same TCC (Transmitter Control Code) from your mag media filings for e-filing.
You can also do test file transmissions between Nov. 1, 2008 and Feb. 15, 2009 — strongly encouraged if this is your first time filing electronically.
Download IRS’ publication with all the details on e-filing and the FIRE system here.