A common reason that an e-filed return might reject is for the document count.
This is IRS Business Rule R0000-019:
A state return might also reject for the document count. Here is California Business Rule R0000-065:
A document count reject means that the document counter in the return and the actual number of documents in the return don't match.
What is a document?
Electronically filed tax returns are transmitted in a data format called XML, so the word "document" is defined in the context of XML rather than in what the return looks like when printed. (Many forms consist of multiple printed pages, but in the return data they are counted as a single document.)
As the federal reject indicates, documents are "forms, schedules, and supporting documents".
How are documents counted?
As the return is being prepared, documents are being added to it and a counter keeps track of the total number of documents in the return. In practical terms, the document counter counts each standalone form, schedule, or supporting statement that has been completed. The words "standalone" and "completed" are important:
- standalone - In TaxSlayer Pro, a standalone form will have a menu option to delete the form. For example, in the S corp return Schedules L and M-2 are considered standalone (even though they are incorporated into Form 1120-S) since they can be deleted in the menu. Schedule M-1 is not standalone since it cannot be deleted from the menu.
- completed - A form or schedule that's been created is a document and is part of the return, but if it is blank it's not considered to be completed and it won't be added to the document count until it has some data in it. The term completed doesn't imply accurate; the return can still reject for a form that's been incorrectly completed.
How are documents created in a return in TaxSlayer Pro?
Documents are created in two ways:
- Opening a particular form or schedule menu - Not all forms are created just by opening the menu to the form, but many are. For example, in an individual tax return, just by opening the Form 3800 General Business Credit menu you have added Form 3800 to the return. In a partnership return, opening a form listed in the Miscellaneous menu adds that form to the return.
- Clicking the New button - Any time you click the New button in a menu you are creating a document. There are numerous menus like this in the program, e.g., for adding a source document such as a Form W-2 or 1099-R but also for adding Other Income or a supporting statement. In a business return balance sheet, for example, Other Assets or Other Liabilities are added by clicking New.
How do I diagnose and fix this reject in TaxSlayer Pro?
Is the number for "documentCount attribute" higher than "Actual number of document found"?
If so, it may be that the counter is off and needs to be reset.
If this is a federal reject, do the following steps:
- Open the return.
- Remove it from electronic filing.
- Mark it for electronic filing.
- Exit and retransmit.
If this is a state reject, do the following steps:
- Open the return, first federal then the state that rejected.
- Remove the state return from electronic filing.
- Mark the state return for electronic filing.
- Exit and retransmit the state return only.
Note: There are a handful of state returns that cannot be e-filed unlinked to a federal return. At the transmission table, if you are told that the state return cannot be e-filed by itself, you will need to file it in paper form.
If the return rejects after having done the above procedure, call TaxSlayer Pro Support for assistance at 706.868.0985.
Is the number for "documentCount attribute" lower than "Actual number of document found"?
If so, it may be that there is a blank or incomplete document in the return. The difference between the two numbers tells you how many problems to look for. Do the following steps:
- Open the return and note the forms and schedules listed in Forms Completed, either by taking a screen snip or writing them down. (Here's why you do this: When parsing the return menus you may inadvertently create a form you didn't intend to, so it's good to know what was in the return when you first opened the return.)
- Print a copy of the return to PDF and look for a supporting statement that is missing information, e.g., the details for an "Other" item with a blank description or $0 amount. If there is such a statement, find that item's menu in the return and complete or delete the item, either of which will resolve the reject. Also, look for a blank form. If any is found, visit that form's menu and either complete it or delete it.
- If the problem isn't found in Step 2, visit all the menus in the return that include a "New" button. Look for entries missing either a description or an amount, e.g., in a business return examine any menu line that begins with the word "Other" in Schedules L, M-1, M-2, and, if completed, M-3 (in Heading Information > Other Categories).
- If you fixed the problem in Steps 2 or 3, exit the return and retransmit.
After the above steps have been followed, if the return is still rejecting call TaxSlayer Pro Support for assistance at 706.868.0985.