Every year, most people who earn an income in the United States have to file a federal income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service. In additional to your regular tax return, you must provide all financial information required by law. For example, you may have to file Form 1098 to indicate how much you paid in interest, points or private mortgage insurance for the year. If you file a Form 1098 and other forms categorized as Certain Information Returns, and you file those papers in hard copy, you must file them with a Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns.
What Is Form 1096?
Form 1096 is a coversheet that you use to transmit paper IRS Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498 and W-2G to the IRS. Collectively, these are known as Certain Information Returns used to provide specific financial information, for example in relation to bond tax credits and mortgage interest. Form 1096 is used to submit forms in paper copy only; it cannot be used to transmit tax forms electronically. However, Certain Information Returns can be filed electronically without Form 1096.
How to Fill Out Form 1096
To order Form 1096 and other official IRS information returns, visit the IRS website and click Forms & Instructions. Click Order Forms & Pubs, then click Online Ordering for Information Returns and Employer Returns and scroll down to Form 1096 to order the desired quantity.
Form 1096 is a single-page form with sections for your name address, telephone number, fax number, email address, employer identification number and Social Security number. You must also provide the total amount reported with the form and the amount of any federal income tax you have withheld. Form 1096 is a coversheet, so you must indicate the type of form you are filing, by entering an X in the appropriate box. Only one form may be filed with the Form 1096, meaning you may end up filing several Forms 1096. For example, if you file Form 1098 and Form 1099-K, you'll need two copies of Form 1096.
When you have completed, signed and dated Form 1096, you send it with your paper information return to the correct address, which varies by state.
Filing a Corrected 1096
If you have made a minor mistake on your Form 1096, the IRS may correct it or simply overlook it. Minor inconsistencies are often picked up by IRS software. In some cases, you may receive a letter from the IRS with a request to send an amended 1096 and instructions for doing so.
If you realize after sending Form 1096 to the IRS that you've made a mistake, you can submit a new Form 1096 with copies of the original filing form and a letter stating that the mistake was only on Form 1096 and not on the filing form itself. You can also contact the IRS to explain the situation and get advice pertaining to your specific case.
Submitting Corrected Filing Forms
You can also use Form 1096 to submit corrected filing forms to the IRS. The IRS website has instructions for amending filling errors on every filing form. In many cases, you can simply fill out a new form with the correct information, checking the box at the top of the form to indicate that it is a corrected form. Include Form 1096, making sure it is completed in full, signed and dated, and submit the corrected form to the IRS.
If you make a mistake on Form 1096, the coversheet for submitting paper copies of Certain Information Returns to the IRS, you can send an amended 1096 with an explanatory letter. However, the IRS may overlook or correct minor math errors on Form 1096.
- IRS: About Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns
- IRS: Form 1096
- Advanced Micro Solutions: 1096 Correction Instructions: How to Amend IRS Forms
- IRS: General Instructions for Certain Information Returns
- Self-Employed Individuals Tax Center
- H&R Block: Filing Requirements 2018
Claire is a qualified lawyer and specialized in family law before becoming a full-time writer. She has written for many digital publications, including The Washington Post, Forbes, Vice and HealthCentral.