Here are some of the most common individual tax return rejects.
Signature date on Form 8879
This reject occurs when a return that was completed in a prior year is transmitted in the current year. The IRS requires the signature date on Form 8879 to be in the current year.
To correct this reject, open the return and select:
- Mark Return Electronic
- Signature Authorization
- Signature Date - Enter a date in the current year on or before the filing date.
Duplicate Taxpayer or Spouse
The IRS has already accepted a return that included the taxpayer or spouse SSN and thus cannot accept a second return electronically with the same taxpayer identification number (SSN). This can occur because the taxpayer or spouse has already electronically filed a tax return for the current year, and it can also occur if the ERO inadvertently electronically filed the original return a second time.
This reject may also occur when the taxpayer or spouse has been the victim of identity theft and somebody other than the taxpayer or spouse has filed a fraudulent tax return on their behalf. In such a case, the taxpayer should contact the IRS Identity Theft Hotline at 800.908.4490 as soon as possible. The IRS will provide guidance on how to file the return and next steps to take.
The IRS has already accepted a return where another taxpayer has claimed a dependent that is also being claimed on this return. This typically occurs when a child is claimed by two related taxpayers such as the custodial and non-custodial parent or perhaps a grandparent, aunt, or uncle.
These rejects contain additional information identifying the last four digits of the SSN of the dependent who was claimed by the other taxpayer.
If there is more than one dependent being claimed by another taxpayer, there may be a separate reject for each dependent.
The return with this reject cannot be electronically filed with this dependent on it. If the taxpayer can rightfully claim the dependent, a paper return must be submitted by mail. Do not attach any information regarding the dependent or documentation not otherwise required with the return. The IRS will process the paper return and will contact both taxpayers claiming the dependent to determine which taxpayer is legally entitled to claim the dependent. The taxpayer who is not legally entitled to claim the dependent will be required to pay additional taxes, penalties, and interest.
Dependent is the Primary or Secondary on Another Return
The IRS has already accepted a return where a dependent SSN on this return has already been used to file a tax return for the current year either as the primary taxpayer or spouse AND has claimed the personal exemption, i.e., did not indicate they are a dependent of someone else. This reject will identify the last four digits of the SSN of the dependent in question.
This reject can occur when a child files their own tax return in order to get withholdings refunded and doesn't indicate they are a dependent of someone else. Having done that, the child's parent(s) will not be able to then claim the child as a dependent. For the parents to be able to claim the child as a dependent, the child will need to file an amended return indicating they are a dependent of someone else, then once that amended return has been processed the parents will be able to file their return. The IRS data isn't instantly corrected upon acceptance of the child's amended return, however, so the time between the two return submissions may be longer than the parent wishes.
Alternatively, the reject can be satisfied by simply removing the dependent from this return.
This reject may also occur when the dependent has been the victim of identity theft and somebody other than the dependent has filed a fraudulent tax return on the dependent's behalf. In such a case, the taxpayer should contact the IRS Identity Theft Hotline at 800.908.4490 as soon as possible. The IRS will provide guidance on how to file the return and next steps to take.
SSN and Last Name Mismatch
The IRS periodically receives data from Social Security Administration containing names, Social Security Numbers, and birth years. In a tax return, the IRS validates the SSN and the first four letters of the last name with the data supplied by the SSA. (The first four letters of the last name are called the Name Control.) If the SSN and Name Control don't match, the return will reject. Note that this reject can occasionally occur even when the name has matched a prior year return and nothing has changed in the meantime.
Reasons why this might occur, and solutions:
- SSN or last name are mistyped - Check the entries in the return for accuracy.
- Last name is incorrect - If the taxpayer has three or four names, the name the SSA treats as the last name needs to be the last name in the return. Also, the taxpayer's or spouse's name may have changed subsequent to divorce or marriage and the IRS data hasn't yet been updated. To resolve the reject, change the last name and refile the return. This may be a process of trial and error.
If the SSN and Name Control problem cannot be corrected, then the return cannot be electronically filed and a paper return must be submitted by mail. If the taxpayer is certain the name and SSN in the return are correct, they should contact the Social Security Administration to get their records corrected.
The IRS periodically receives data from Social Security Administration containing names, Social Security Numbers, and birth years. The IRS uses the birth year information to determine the taxpayer, spouse, or dependent's age to be eligible to qualify for a tax credit that includes an age requirement, such as the Earned Income Credit or the Child Tax Credit.
The reject will generally indicate the last four digits of the SSN for the individual in the return whose age is outside of the credit's eligibility requirement. If a return receives one of these rejects, first verify that you have entered the affected individual's birth information correctly. (The year is the most important part as it determines the taxpayer's age as of December 31 of the tax year.)
If the birth year in the return is correct, the return will need to be filed in paper form. It won't be e-fileable, and the credits in the return won't be allowable, until the IRS data has been corrected. Additionally, the taxpayer needs to liaise with the Social Security Administration to get its data corrected so that the IRS's data can be corrected.
Note that these rejects can occur even if the taxpayer has successfully electronically filed tax returns claiming the credit in previous years, because the age mismatch did not impact the credit eligibility. For example, if the IRS e-file database this tax year shows a dependent has reached age 17 (instead of age 16 as reflected on the birth certificate and in the return), the return will reject since the IRS believes the dependent is ineligible for the Child Tax Credit. The child was otherwise eligible in prior years, so neither the taxpayer, the IRS, nor the SSA were aware that the child's age was incorrect in the databases.
Identity Protection PIN
If an individual has an identity protection PIN set up with the IRS, the IRS expects to see that PIN on their tax return, whether the PIN is for the taxpayer, spouse, or dependent, and whether the return is e-filed or paper filed.
To correct the reject, a valid six-digit IP PIN must be included with the individual's information in the return under the Personal Information menu.
IP PINs are good for one year only, so whether you are working on a current year or prior year tax return, enter the IP PIN the IRS provided to the individual at the beginning of the current year.
First Time Homebuyer Installment Payment
According to the IRS's records, the return is missing a required First Time Homebuyer Credit Installment Payment.
If the first-time homebuyer credit was claimed by a taxpayer for a home that was purchased in 2008, repayment of the credit began with the 2010 tax return and continues for 15 years or when the house is sold, whichever is earlier. (The amount that the IRS believes the taxpayer owes as an installment payment can found at the IRS's here website.) This reject can occur for the taxpayer, the spouse, or both.
Form 5405 is only required if the property has been disposed of or some other event has occurred wherein the property is no longer the taxpayer's main home, e.g., death, divorce, condemnation.
To resolve this reject, either enter this year's installment payment in its menu or complete Form 5405.
If the taxpayer believes no First Time Homebuyer Credit Installment Payment is required or some error exists in the IRS records, the preparer can contact the IRS E-file Help Desk.
To resolve this reject in TaxSlayer Pro, select the Other Taxes menu, then First Time Homebuyers Credit Repayment, and either enter this year's repayment amount or complete Form 5405.
This reject generally occurs when the preparer has entered the annual installment payment but has also begun Form 5405 but did not enter any info in it. Form 5405 isn't needed in a return if the taxpayer is only making the annual installment payment.
If the taxpayer is only making the annual installment payment, resolve this reject in TaxSlayer Pro by selecting:
- Other Taxes
- First-Time Homebuyer Credit Repayment
- Complete Form 5405
- Remove Form 5405 - Answer Yes to confirm.
On the other hand, if the taxpayer disposed of the home and needs to complete Form 5405, resolve this reject by selecting:
- Other Taxes
- First-Time Homebuyer Credit Repayment
- 2008 First-Time Homebuyer Credit Repayment - Enter zero for the taxpayer's and/or spouse's payment.
- Complete Form 5405 - In an MFJ return you'll be asked who the form is for. Select Taxpayer or Spouse as appropriate, then complete each form part as needed.
Employer Identification Number not Matching the IRS database
In Forms W-2, W-2G, and 1099-R the IRS validates the EIN and the first four characters of the payer name, so if a return has one of these rejects it means there is a mismatch between those two things.
To resolve the reject, first check the information you entered in the return to ensure the EIN and the first four characters of the payer name matches the source document you are looking at. If you find a mistake in either, correct it. If a state return is included, open the state return for the updated information to flow into it. Once finished, exit and retransmit the return.
On the other hand, If the EIN entered matches the source document, the taxpayer will have to contact the entity that issued the source document to get a corrected replacement.
If the EIN issue cannot be corrected, then the return cannot be electronically filed and a paper return must be submitted by mail.
Employer Identification Number Issued after Tax Year
This reject occurs when the Employer Identification Number of the employer/payer reported on the tax return on a Form W-2, W-2G, or 1099-R was issued by the IRS in a subsequent year. This can occur when an employer gets a new EIN after the tax year which is being reported on the source document.
The taxpayer will have to contact the business entity that issued the source document in order to get a corrected replacement document. If the EIN issue cannot be corrected, then the return cannot be electronically filed and a paper return must be submitted by mail.
Form 8862 is Missing on the Return
A return can receive one of this series of rejects when the IRS e-File database indicates that the filer must file Form 8862 in order to claim a credit because the credit was disallowed in a prior year. The reject will indicate which credit in the return is triggering the need for Form 8862.
To claim the credit that was denied in a prior year, complete Form 8862, then retransmit the return.
EFIN Not in Accepted Status
These rejects occur when EFIN in the return is either not in the IRS database or is not approved (by the IRS). This is an IRS reject, not a TaxSlayer Pro reject.
If the correct EFIN was used when the return was transmitted, contact the IRS E-File Help Desk at 866.255.0654 to update your EFIN status.
If your EFIN has changed, update the TaxSlayer Pro configuration.
- See here for information about updating your EFIN in the desktop version of TaxSlayer Pro.
- See here for information about updating your EFIN in TaxSlayer ProWeb.
EFIN Registered as Online Filer
This reject occurs due to the ERO having made a mistake completing their EFIN Application. See here for more information.