Tax returns that can't be e-filed
There's no question that e-filing is the fastest, safest, and easiest way to submit your tax return to the government.
E-filing also helps ensure accuracy because e-filed returns are electronically scrutinized for missing, contradictory, and incorrect information.
However, there are times when a tax return simply refuses to be e-filed, even though it's complete and perfectly correct otherwise.
The return continues to get rejected or bounced back with the same error message despite repeated attempts to "fix" it. Below are several reasons explaining why some returns cannot be e-filed.
If you've tried to "fix" your return several times but are still unable to e-file, there may not be anything wrong that can be "fixed". You'll just need to file a paper return instead.
Your return does not match IRS data records
E-file rejections caused by differences between the data in your return versus what's in the IRS database can be frustrating, especially when you know your data is correct.
Rejections will occur when there are mismatching:
- Social Security numbers or names, such as rejection codes 0501 and 0504;
- Employer Identification numbers, such as rejection code 0502;
- Birthdates, such as rejection code 0522.
Your Next Steps
- Double-check the information that's causing the rejection. If necessary, correct it and resubmit your return.
- Verify Social Security numbers, birth dates, and names with the Social Security Administration. Click here for more info.
- For Employer Identification numbers, check with your payroll department to make sure the EIN is correct.
- Did you have the same problem with this EIN last year?
- Are co-workers having the same problem when e-filing?
- If your information is correct, print and mail your return now and follow up with the IRS later. They may need to correct their records so you can e-file next year.
- We are unable to resolve mismatch rejections, as the problem lies with government agencies' data that we have no control over.
Your dependent was claimed on another return
When another taxpayer, such as an ex-spouse, claims the same dependent on their tax return and files before you do, your e-filed return will get rejected. Rejection code 0506 and rejection code 0507 are two such rejection errors.
The IRS checks to make sure the same dependent isn't claimed on more than one return, and will reject any subsequent returns that attempt to claim deductions or credits for the same dependent.
If you believe that you are legally entitled to claim the dependent, go ahead and file a paper return.
In a few months, you and the other taxpayer will be contacted by the IRS to determine who is legally entitled to claim the dependent. Once the IRS figures out who the rightful claimant is, the other taxpayer will be required to repay the tax benefit that resulted from the false claim, plus possible penalties and interest.
IRS or state tax authority restrictions
Certain tax returns simply cannot be e-filed because of IRS or state government restrictions. These include but are not limited to:
- Federal returns with no taxable income
- Federal returns where Form W-2, Box 1 is blank
- State returns where the W-2, Box 16 amount exceeds the Box 1 amount
- Returns that exceed the IRS limit for a particular form.
- Federal and state returns containing forms that cannot be e-filed
- Prior-year tax returns
- The sixth and subsequent federal tax return(s) prepared using the same tax software program
- Most part-year and nonresident state tax returns
Overrides on the tax return
To prevent an inaccurate return, overridden values in TurboTax may disqualify you from e-filing. For this and other reasons, we discourage overrides.
However, are times when you are specifically instructed to override, usually as a workaround to a known calculation issue.
In these rare cases, the override allows you to paper-file an accurate return, as opposed to e-filing an inaccurate one that would have to be amended later.