Knowledge Base

10398: EF Return Selector - Messages and Troubleshooting

Select Returns for EF

At EF > Select Returns for EF, why can't I select the return for transmission? 

Settings and EF Messages

A number of conditions affect whether a return appears on the EF Return Selector and whether the selection box is available. The most common are these:

Require 'Ready for EF' indicator on EF screen (Setup > Option > EF tab) Ready for EF indicator (EF screen) condition Return shows on EF selector?
selected without X indicator any no
with X indicator EF message no
suppressed return shows without selection box
clean shows with selection box
not selected doesn’t matter EF message no
suppressed return shows without selection box
clean shows with selection box

If Require E-Signatures on all electronically signable forms (1040 Only) is selected under Select to Turn On in Setup > Options > EF, and there is no signature pad installed, the return will not show in EF > Select Returns for E-file even if it shows a green check mark when the return is calculated. View mode will display an ESIGN message stating that XX forms require electronic signature before the return may be e-filed.
If a return does not show up in the return selector, a large PDF may also be the culprit. See Related Links below for details. 

EF Return Selector Screen Message Column

Use the EF Return Selector to select returns you intend to e-file. It is accessed in Drake Tax by going to EF > Select Returns for EF. The Messages column provides information about problems with transmission eligibility. You can review the message by double clicking it. These message codes are similar to EF codes located on the Online EF Database.

Message codes indicate the following:

  • X - a message page on the main form (i.e., 1040, 1120)
  • Y - a message on ETD message page
  • Z - a message page on both the main form and the ETD.

The following codes may also be referenced on the EF Return Selector:

  • B - Bank Product
  • A - Accepted
  • R - Rejected
  • T - Transmitted

Unable to Find EF Data

If you're seeing this message referring to the EIN or SSN of a specific return:

Unable to find EF Data for ###-##-####.

If you are working in a networked environment, ensure the shared drive letter for EF files is set to the same location as the instance of the software that calculated the return.

No returns will be selected for EF.

Verify data locations and then recalculate the return. If that does not resolve the problem, follow these additional steps:

  1. Delete the print file for the named return (Tools > File Maintenance > Delete Print Files).
  2. Repair the indexes by going to Tools > Repair Index Files > Repair all indexes.
  3. Open the return and repair it (from the main data entry screen, press CTRL + Shift+ R)​Caution: CTRL + Shift+ R removes unneeded state files. A 709 Gift Tax return also can be removed when using this function. Read the warning screens carefully before responding if the return you are in has a 709.
  4. Recalculate the return.

This problem is sometimes associated with a return for which the file type has been changed.

Expired Returns

Due to state requirements, any returns calculated more than 7 days before you try to transmit will have Expired Return as their status.

Those returns will:

  • Display a date more than 7 days old in the Last Calc column
  • Be unavailable to select
  • Be grayed out 

To change the return’s status to Ready For EF:

  • Recalculate the return by:
    • Either opening the expired return and clicking Calculate in the Data Entry mode toolbar
    • Or clicking Calculate on the software homepage, entering the ID numbers of all expired clients, then clicking OK
  • Confirm no new messages are displayed on the Calculation Window or on the Messages page of View/Print mode
  • Return to the EF Return Selector

Important: Though rare, be sure to check that there are no material changes to the return. If there are, you may be required to have the return signed again by the taxpayer.

Related Links

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