A common reason that an e-filed return might reject is for the document count. This is IRS Business Rule R0000-019:
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.
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. Occasionally, there is a mismatch between the counter and the actual number of documents in the return, and the return rejects.
How are documents counted?
In practical terms, the document counter counts each standalone form, schedule, or supporting statement that has been completed. Key points:
- 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's 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?
- Open the return, and note the forms and schedules listed in Forms Completed, either by taking a screen snip or writing them down. (When parsing the return menus you may inadvertently create a form you didn't intend to, so this info will show you what forms were included when you first opened the return.)
- View the printed return in 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 delete or complete 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 delete or complete it.
- If the problem isn't found in Step 2, visit 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).
- After you've fixed the problem, exit the return and retransmit.
After all the above, if you're unable to resolve the reject, call TaxSlayer Pro Support for assistance at 706.868.0985.