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*Update 01/02 15:12 GMT:
It looks like IRS really dropped the ball with IRS FIRE system downtime. The 1099 deadline was hindered by the situation leaving many in the dark when submitting, tweets similar to the one below are gaining support:
Multiple complaints have surfaced online regarding IRS FIRE system down yet again after the web page kicked out and failed to accept 1099 files for many. The error message “The Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) System is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.” is appearing at various stages of the FIRE process, most notoriously on the last step. This isn’t the first time it’s happened recently, with the system coming under ‘FIRE’ rather than serving its purpose.
Down Detector has been a massive spike in reports during working hours yesterday, we can expect another spike as America starts a new working day later today:
What to do if this happens to you?
Whilst we are in no way qualified to give any legal or financial advice here on PC Guide, there does seem to be workarounds and forgiveness for late submissions in situations such as this. Reddit user and the original poster of the screenshot above, ‘HitEmTrue’ stated that they may send an 8809 and check the “unavoidable absence” box alongside writing that “We have been unable to upload the 1099’s to FIRE because the system has been down”.
Another user, ‘Jo_Backson’ backs up the IRS’s lax nature in these situations, stating her old head CPA at their firm has “never seen any penalties related to late/failed filing of 1099’s unless it’s really egregious”. We’re only assuming here that this means slightly late filings will be OK but anything over that won’t be taken lightly.
Of course, this is only speculation by a couple of Reddit users online, we would always recommend seeking solid financial advice from the appropriate body. As far as IRS acknowledgment goes, there doesn’t seem to be any right now. As soon as we have any more information we will update this post.