Knowledge Base

11763: Attachments for e-Filing - General Information

EF Generally

Can I attach a document to a business or individual return for e-filing?

Yes, there are two kinds of e-file attachments:

  1. Software attachments
  2. Preparer attachments

Software attachments are documents that the software requires you to attach because of a condition in the return.

  • Software attachments are not generated or listed on the PDF data entry screen.
  • The software generates a red EF Message to prevent e-filing until the attachment is completed. The EF message can be eliminated only by completing the attachment or removing the condition in the return that requires the attachment (if the message in an individual return offers a choice between attachment and a PDI indicator, completion of either process will eliminate the message). EF messages are cleared after you recalculate the return.
  • A completed software attachment can be updated.
  • Most state return attachments are software attachments.

Preparer attachments are those that the preparer determines should be e-filed with the return.

  • Enter preparer attachments on the PDF data entry screen list. After entry, the software generates a red EF message to prevent e-filing until the attachment is completed. Attach the document or delete the PDF screen entry and recalculate the return to eliminate the EF message.
  • Preparer attachments can be only signature documents, third-party documents (such as an appraisal), and/or columnar format information.
  • All PDF screen entries are preparer attachments to the federal return. PDF screen entries do not affect state returns. Preparer attachments cannot be made to a state return, unless the state has a separate PDF attachment screen in data entry.
  • A completed preparer attachment can be updated.
  • You can attach more than one PDF for the same form name, however, each PDF must have a unique name. There must be at least one character difference between every file name. For example, "K1 Taxpayer.pdf" and "K1 Spouse.pdf."

Printing or Scanning the Document for Attachment

The document to be attached:

  1. Must be a PDF file. Do not rename a non-PDF file with a .pdf extension, or the return will be rejected.
  2. If more than one page, must be scanned or printed to a single, multi-page PDF file using the features of your scanning or PDF printing software.
    • You can merge existing PDF files using Drake Documents. See Related Links below.
  3. Should be scanned or printed to a location that you can find when you attach the document.
    • The client’s folder in Drake Documents is the best choice, but another location, such as the desktop can also be used.
  4. If password protected, you must know the password or the file cannot be attached. 

Completing the attachment

See Related Links below for detailed information about attaching a document to an individual, a business, or a state return for e-filing.

Related Links

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