General and form-related guidelines for 1065 partnership return electronic filing

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The following links provide information about miscellaneous guidelines that do not refer to specific input screens, as well as information about IRS limitations to the number of characters that can be entered in certain fields. Follow these guidelines to create IRS-acceptable partnership return electronic files.

Note: Further information is available at the IRS website at irs.gov/Tax-Professions/e-File-Providers-&-Partners/Modernized-e-file-(MeF)-for-Partnerships.

  • Alpha characters consist of the upper-case letters A through Z. No other characters are allowed in alpha-only fields. Few fields are alpha-only fields. An example of an alpha field is the City field.
  • Numeric characters consist of the numbers 0 through 9. These characters are used for all amount fields.
  • Alphanumeric characters consist of the upper-case letters A through Z and numbers 0 through 9. These characters are allowed in most text fields.
  • Special characters generally include ampersand (&), apostrophe ('), hyphen (-), parentheses [()], and single space, among others. The IRS does not allow certain special characters such as percent (%) or subsection (§), among others.

Note: UltraTax CS strips invalid characters from fields and converts all lower-case characters to upper-case characters in the electronic file.

Attached text is not recognized in the electronic return. Use the statement dialog for the Preparer note explanation field in Screens ELF and ELFFP or the statement dialog for the General footnote field in Screen 1065 to enter general information to be included with the electronic partnership tax return.

Note: To include text in the state electronic file, use the statement dialog for the General footnote field in the General Information section of the state's Screen Gen.

The IRS allows only specific binary attachments (as a PDF file) to be attached to the partnership return electronic file. Refer to IRS Publication 4164 for more information about binary attachments. For information about how to include binary attachments with the electronic file in UltraTax/1065, see Attaching Portable Document Format (PDF) documents to the electronic file.

Information entered on Forms 8082, 8275 and 8275-R, Page 2 is not included in the electronic file.

If the field to the left of line 11 contains an entry, SECTION 42(J)(5) will be entered in the electronic file.

Form 8865 and related forms and schedules cannot be separately filed when filing electronically but can be electronically filed with the filer's electronic file. Therefore, the following information does not apply to Form 8865 electronic files: Forms 8453-PE/-B, 8878-A, and 8879-P/-B; name and title of person signing return; signature dates; and name control. For more information on how to electronically file and attach Form 8865, see Filing and attaching Form 8865 to electronic files.

Form 8883, Page 1, line 3c - State or country of incorporation requires specific data entry for electronic filing. If the target corporation was incorporated in the U.S., enter the two-digit postal code in the first field. If the target corporation was incorporated outside of the U.S., enter the two-digit foreign country code in the second field. See IRS Publication 4163, Exhibit 2 for a complete list of foreign country codes.

Modifying the government collation has no effect on the contents of the electronic file. The electronic file will still contain all forms and schedules filed with Form 1065, 1065-B, or 8865 that are included in the default government collation. However, you can modify what prints on paper for the government collation at the time you create the electronic file. We strongly recommend you use the default collation. If you have modified the print collation and would like to return to the application defaults, choose Setup > 1065 Partnership and click the Tax Return button in the Federal tab. In the Return Collation dialog, click the Restore Default button.

For more information, see Customizing the print collation for returns filed electronically.

You can override the calculated name control using Screen ELF, if necessary.

The IRS's 1065 electronic filing program requires a name control field for the partnership name. The calculated value is displayed in the Name control, Calculated Value field in Screen ELF. Due to the complicated nature of the name control specifications, UltraTax CS may have an issue correctly calculating the name control fields. UltraTax CS provides a Name control, Force field in Screen ELF to override the calculated value, if necessary.

The following are business name control rules and examples from IRS Publication 4163 and irs.gov.

Note: The name control in the IRS e-file database is based on the legal name listed on Form SS-4 when the partnership originally applied with the IRS for an EIN and not necessarily the name of the partnership entered in UltraTax CS.

  • The name control consists of up to four alpha and/or numeric characters. The only special characters allowed in the name control are ampersands (&) and hyphens (-).
  • The name control can have fewer than (but no more than) four characters. Blanks may be present only at the end of the name control.
  • Omit punctuation marks, titles, and suffixes.
  • Exclude the word "the" when followed by more than one word.
  • Do not include "DBA" or "dba" as part of the name control.
  • The name control consists of the following:
    • If the partnership's name is a series of individual names, the name control is the first four characters of the first individual's last name.
    • If the partnership's name is a business name, the name control is the first four characters of the partnership name.
  • The following are examples of business name controls.
Business name Name control
The Hawthorn THEH
The Flower Diner FLOW
Green Brothers GREE
List of partners Name control
Shamrock, Shinleaf and Smartwood SHAM
James, Mary & John Grey GREY
James En & Robert Yee EN

The partnership name can contain any alpha characters (A-Z), numeric characters (0-9), and the following symbols: back slash (\), hyphen (-), parentheses [( )], ampersand (&), apostrophe ('), and single spaces.

Note: The partnership name cannot contain spaces at the beginning or end of the name fields, adjacent spaces anywhere within the name, or any symbols not previously listed.

If a partner's or partnership's name contains a title or suffix that can be expressed as a numeric relationship, convert the title or suffix to a Roman numeral. For example, enter Jim Smith 3rd as Jim Smith III.

For a U.S. address to be valid for electronic filing, it must include the address, city, state, and ZIP code. In addition, the state and ZIP code must be a valid combination. For a foreign address to be valid for electronic filing, it must contain an address and a two-digit country code. See IRS Publication 4163, Exhibit 2 for a complete list of foreign country codes. If any of this information is missing, the IRS will reject the return.

For foreign addresses, the country field requires specific data entry for electronic filing. Instead of entering the name of the country, enter the two-digit IRS defined country code. See IRS Publication 4163, Exhibit 2 for a complete list of foreign country codes.

Related topic: Entering data for 1065 electronic returns overview

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