How to Submit Forms to IRS?

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Key Takeaways on Submitting to the IRS

  • The IRS offers both electronic and paper options for submitting most forms and documents. Electronic filing is typically faster and more accurate.
  • Double check that you are using the latest version of any form to avoid delays or issues. Forms are updated annually.
  • Carefully follow all instructions for the specific form or document you are submitting. Required information varies.
  • Include your Social Security Number or Tax ID Number on all submissions for proper processing.
  • Keep documentation of when and how you submitted materials in case follow up is needed.


Submitting required paperwork and forms to the IRS is a key part of meeting your tax obligations and responsibilities as an individual or business. Failing to properly file important documents can lead to delays, processing issues, and in some cases, penalties and fees. By understanding the proper procedures and protocols for IRS submissions, you can ensure timely and accurate processing.

This comprehensive guide will outline the main methods for submitting forms and documents to the IRS. It covers key factors like electronic filing options, paper filing choices, required identification numbers, documentation requirements, and more. You’ll learn the specifics of how to file a variety of common IRS forms and supporting materials. With this information, you can handle all your IRS submissions quickly, correctly, and with minimal stress. Discover the best practices for hassle-free IRS filing.

Overview of Form Submission Options and Steps

The IRS provides two primary ways to submit required forms and supporting documents: electronic and paper filing. Within those categories are several choices. Here is an overview of the main submission options and steps based on IRS guidelines and protocols:

Electronic Submission

  • File commonly used forms online via IRS e-file applications. Requires IRS account.
  • Upload digital documents through the SecureDrop tool. Requires scanner or digital copies.
  • Submit many forms via tax preparation software or through tax pros. Must use latest form versions.
  • Send some supporting documents via secure email to an IRS representative after providing authorization.

Paper Submission

  • Mail completed paper forms via US Postal Service following form instructions. Must use current forms.
  • Hand deliver paper forms and documents to a local IRS office. Call ahead for hours and protocols.
  • Send certain forms and documents via private delivery service. Must follow mailing address rules.
  • Fax some forms and documents per specific form instructions. Confirm fax number is current.

Key Factors and Tips for Smooth IRS Submissions

To avoid hiccups or issues when you submit forms and documents to the IRS, keep these important factors and tips in mind:

  • Use the latest forms – IRS forms are updated annually so be sure to use the current year’s version. Check the form again just before submitting to avoid an outdated one.
  • Complete all required fields – Carefully fill out each required field and section fully and accurately. Missing or incorrect information can slow or halt processing.
  • Include required ID numbers – Your Social Security Number or Tax ID Number must be included where specified so returns are matched properly.
  • Follow sending instructions – Each form will specify acceptable filing methods. Closely follow the sending options and addresses provided.
  • Keep documentation – Note the date, form name, delivery method, and any tracking numbers should you need to follow up or confirm receipt.

Detailed Steps: How to Submit Common IRS Forms

The specific steps and submission options can vary depending on which IRS form you need to file. Here are detailed steps for submitting several of the most commonly used IRS forms accurately:

1040 Individual Tax Return

The 1040 form is used by individuals to file an annual federal income tax return. Follow these steps:

  • Visit and locate the most current 1040 form and instructions or use tax software that will ensure you use the latest version. Complete the form fully either electronically or print and complete by hand.
  • If needed, complete additional schedules and forms that supplement your 1040. Sign and date the 1040.
  • Attach W-2s and any other required information. Double check the 1040 instructions “Required attachments” section.
  • If e-filing, follow prompts to submit the 1040 and attachments electronically via IRS e-file, tax software, or a tax professional. If mailing a paper form, follow the address instructions in the 1040 instructions.

W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number

The W-9 is submitted to employers, banks, or other requesters to provide your TIN and certify your identity. Here’s how to complete it:

  • Locate the current year W-9 on or request the form from the requester. Complete fields with your name, address, and Taxpayer Identification Number (usually SSN or EIN).
  • Sign and date the form.
  • Provide the competed W-9 to the requester following their instructions (mail, upload, email). Be sure to include the form’s instructions page, not just the one-page form.

940 Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return

This form is used to report annual unemployment taxes if you have employees. To file it:

  • Obtain form 940 and instructions for the current tax year. Complete all required fields pertaining to your employee wages and unemployment tax owed.
  • Confirm your mailing address and business name are current on the form. Sign and date it.
  • If e-filing, submit form 940 electronically via IRS e-file or tax software. To mail, send to the appropriate address provided in the instructions.
  • If owed taxes, include payment per instructions. E-filers must first enroll with EFTPS to allow e-payment of 940 taxes due.

W-2 and W-3 Wage and Tax Statement

Employers must complete W-2s for employees and a W-3 transmittal to report annual wages, taxes, etc. Steps include:

  • Access current year W-2 and W-3 forms. Complete a W-2 for each employee, providing their SSN, wages paid, and withholding amounts.
  • Then, fill out the W-3 transmittal form with totals from all W-2s. Sign and date it.
  • By January 31, furnish 2 copies of the W-2 to each employee. Mail or e-file Copy A of all W-2s and the W-3 per form instructions. Retain employer copies for records.

1099 Reporting Independent Contractor Payments

Use a 1099-NEC or 1099-MISC to report nonemployee compensation. Follow these tips:

  • Access the appropriate 1099 form for the tax year. Enter contractor’s name, address, SSN or EIN, and compensation amount paid.
  • Complete any other required fields and forms that supplement the 1099 such as 1096. Sign and date the 1099.
  • Furnish copies B and C to the contractor by January 31 for the previous tax year.
  • Mail or e-file Copy A with any 1096 with totals by January 31 per form instructions.

How To Submit Supporting Tax Documents and Attachments

In addition to filing required forms, you may need to submit supporting tax documents like W-2s and 1099s. Here are some tips on attaching documents:

  • E-filing: Scan documents and upload as attachments via IRS e-file when submitting forms electronically. Most tax software facilitates document uploads.
  • IRS SecureDrop: Use the IRS SecureDrop tool to safely and directly submit documents like tax returns and statements digitally.
  • Paper filing: Attach paper documents securely to mailed forms, such as attaching W-2s to a 1040 tax return. Send complete documents only unless otherwise instructed.
  • Email: Your tax preparer or IRS representative may provide secured email options for providing certain digital tax documents needed to complete your return or resolve an issue.

Answering Common IRS Submission Questions

Approaching IRS submissions strategically and informed can make the process smoother. Here are answers to some of the most frequent taxpayer questions:

What Is the Deadline for Sending Most IRS Forms?

Tax forms such as W-2s, 1099s, and 940s must be submitted to the IRS by January 31 for the preceding tax year. Exceptions include fiscal year returns. The deadline for 1040 individual returns is typically April 15.

How Do I Obtain IRS Forms to Submit?

Most IRS forms can be downloaded at or ordered by mail via Forms 1096 and 1099. Some forms like W-9 are provided by requesters. Tax software and preparers provide access to forms as well.

Where Should I Mail Paper IRS Forms?

Follow the mailing address instructions provided for each specific form for accurate delivery. Confirm you are using the proper IRS mailing address for returns versus payments.

How Will I Know the IRS Received My Submission?

For mailed returns, review instructions regarding mailing certified or requesting delivery confirmation. Some preparers provide e-filing status updates. Or, check your IRS account online for form status in 2-3 weeks.

Can I Submit Forms From My Smartphone?

Yes, many IRS forms can be completed and submitted directly from your smartphone using the official IRS2Go mobile app. You can also photograph documents and submit them via the IRS SecureDrop app.

Key Takeaways on Filing IRS Forms

Submitting required forms and documents to the IRS is a key obligation for taxpayers and businesses. By utilizing available e-filing options, following form protocols, and providing complete information, you can successfully meet IRS submission standards. Pay close attention to deadlines, required identification, document attachments, and instructions provided on each form. With sound preparation and organization, you can streamline your IRS submissions each tax year.

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