The Internal Revenue Service today announced that starting Jan. 1, 2024, businesses are required to electronically file (e-file) Form 8300, Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000, instead of filing a paper return. This new requirement follows final regulations amending e-filing rules for information returns, including Forms 8300.
Businesses that receive more than $10,000 in cash must report transactions to the U.S. government. Although many cash transactions are legitimate, information reported on Forms 8300 can help combat those who evade taxes, profit from the drug trade, engage in terrorist financing or conduct other criminal activities. The government can often trace money from these illegal activities through payments reported on Forms 8300 that are timely filed, complete and accurate.
The new requirement for e-filing Forms 8300 applies to businesses mandated to e-file certain other information returns, such as Forms 1099 series and Forms W-2. Electronic filing and communication options will be simpler and will make it easier to interact with the IRS. Beginning with calendar year 2024, businesses must e-file all Forms 8300 (and other certain types of information returns required to be filed in a given calendar year) if they’re required to file at least 10 information returns other than Form 8300.
For example, if a business files five Forms W-2 and five Forms 1099-INT, then the business must e-file all their information returns during the year, including any Forms 8300. However, if the business files fewer than 10 information returns of any type, other than Forms 8300, then that business does not have to e-file the information returns and is not required to e-file any Forms 8300. However, businesses not required to e-file may still choose to do so.
A business may file a request for a waiver from electronically filing information returns due to undue hardship. For more information businesses can refer to Form 8508, Application for a Waiver from Electronic Filing of Information Returns. If the IRS grants a waiver from e-filing any information return, that waiver automatically applies to all Forms 8300 for the duration of the calendar year. A business may not request a waiver from filing only Forms 8300 electronically.
The business must include the word “Waiver” on the center top of each Form 8300 (Page 1) when submitting a paper filed return.
If a business is required to file fewer than 10 information returns, other than Forms 8300, during the calendar year, the business may file Forms 8300 in paper form without requesting a waiver.
If a business files less than 10 information returns, it can still choose to e-file the Forms 8300 electronically if it chooses to do so.
If using the technology required to e-file conflicts with a filer’s religious beliefs, they are automatically exempt from filing Form 8300 electronically. The filer must include the words “RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION” on the center top of each Form 8300 (page 1) when submitting the paper filed return.
A business must self-identify late returns. A business must file a late Form 8300 in the same way as a timely filed Form 8300, either electronically or on paper. A business filing a late Form 8300 electronically must include the word “LATE” in the comments section of the return. A business filing a late Form 8300 on paper must write “LATE” on the center top of each Form 8300 (page 1).
A business must keep a copy of every Form 8300 it files, as well as any supporting documentation and the required statement it sends to customers, for five years from the date filed.
Filing electronically will provide a confirmation that the form was filed; however, e-file confirmation e-mails alone don’t meet the record keeping requirement. When e-filing, filers must also save a copy of the form prior to finalizing the form submission. They should associate the confirmation number with the saved copy. Prior to finalizing the form for submission, businesses should save a copy of the form electronically or print a copy of the form.
Many businesses have already found the free and secure e-filing system to be a more convenient and cost-effective way to meet the reporting deadline of 15 days after a transaction. They get free email acknowledgment of receipt of the form when they e-file. Businesses can batch e-file their reports, which is especially helpful to those required to file many forms.
To file Forms 8300 electronically, a business must set up an account with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s BSA E-Filing System. The IRS will ensure the privacy and security of all taxpayer data.
For more information, interested businesses can call the Bank Secrecy Act E-Filing Help Desk at 866-346-9478 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the BSA E-Filing System, businesses can complete a technical support request at Self Service Help Ticket. The help desk is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST.
For more information about the reporting requirement, see E-file Form 8300: Reporting of large cash transactions on IRS.gov.
To help businesses prepare and file reports, the IRS created a video – How to Complete Form 8300 – Part I, Part II. The short video points out sections of Form 8300 for which the IRS commonly finds mistakes and explains how to accurately complete those sections.