Knowledge Base

15862: W-2/W-3 & 1099/1096 Form Requirements and Supplies (DAS)


Drake Accounting®: Are there special requirements when printing W-2/W-3 or 1099/1096 forms?

Yes, the IRS and SSA maintain certain requirements on forms to allow processing. Drake Accounting® provides approved scannable W-2 SSA Copy A and W-3 SSA Copy A forms. However, 1099 SSA Copy A and 1096 SSA Copy A require pre-printed "red-line" forms.

The SSA approved options for each form are as follows:

  • W-3 SSA Copy A can be printed on blank paper with a laser printer.
  • W-2 SSA Copy A can be printed on blank paper with a laser printer or on pre-printed forms. 
  • W-2 Other copies can be printed on blank paper, where both form and data are printed. The IRS requires that the copies " easily separated" with "the best method of separation [being] to provide perforations between the individual copies. To accommodate this IRS guideline, Drake recommends printing on the blank perforated forms available through NELCO. NELCO offers perforated blank paper specifically designed for W-2 Other copies such as 4-up, 4-down, etc. 

Printing on the pre-printed form for W-2s is no longer supported. Specifications from Publication 1141 are followed where applicable and all forms are programmed and approved by the SSA.  See Related Links below to view the approval letters.

  • 1099 SSA Copy A can only be printed on the red-lined IRS form.
  • 1099 Other copies can be printed on blank paper or on pre-printed forms
  • 1096 SSA Copy A can only be printed on the red-lined IRS form.

Note: Blank paper refers to normal office stock paper.

Ordering forms:

  • The red-lined IRS forms: (1099 and 1096) can be ordered only from the IRS or NELCO.
  • Other forms can be ordered from the IRS, NELCO, or other suppliers.

NELCO provides Drake compatible supplies - tax folders, envelopes, cards, CD tax return envelopes and labels, specialized post cards, blank 1099s, perforated blank W-2 Forms, and several other products.

The office supplies specified for Drake Software can reviewed and ordered online at (or log in to the Drake Support Web site and go to Resources > Order Supplies).

Nelco also takes orders by:


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