Abstract Phase relations and thermodynamic properties in the binary Fe–Ta system were re-assessed taking into account available and new experimental data. Seven alloys with different chemical composition were prepared. Both, as-cast and annealed samples were analyzed by means of DTA, SEM/EDX and XRD techniques in order to experimentally verify the phase relations in the system. The experimental results showed congruent melting of the Laves phase (λ), two eutectic reactions L ↔ (δFe) + λ, L ↔ (Ta) + μ and one peritectic reaction L + λ ↔ μ. Samples with 45.1, 52.3 and 56.2 at. % Ta seem to contain small amounts of the metastable Ta 3Fe 2 phase, the fractions being too small to be identified by conventional X-ray diffraction. The enthalpies of formation of solid Fe–Ta alloys referred to bcc-Fe and bcc-Ta at 298 K were determined by isoperibolic dissolution calorimetry using liquid Ni at 1773 K as solvent. A new thermodynamic description of the binary Fe–Ta system was obtained by CALPHAD modeling of the Gibbs energy of all individual phases, taking into account the above experimental data as well as assessed published data. Calculations of the phase diagram and of thermodynamic properties were performed with the Thermo-Calc software. They are shown to properly reproduce experimental data.