Electronic filing glossary

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A-D entries

Every return transmitted is acknowledged by the receiving agency (such as the IRS) via the return of an acknowledgment (ACK) file to the transmitter. The acknowledgment file is a record of whether the transmitted returns have been accepted or rejected, along with any errors discovered by the receiving agency. The transmitter generally receives this file from the agency within two days of transmitting the returns.

When Thomson Reuters is the transmitter, these acknowledgments are made available through CS Connect 15 minutes after they are received from the agency.

Preparers must use an online application to apply to participate in the IRS electronic filing program. Preparers must complete the application only once, unless the preparer changes his name, address, and so on. Preparers must also revise the application if they plan to electronically file any business returns (990, 1041, 1065, 1120, and 2290 returns) for the first time. The IRS requires that preparers use the online application on the IRS website at irs.gov/taxpros/providers.

A business rule or reject code is a number that represents an invalid condition within an electronic return record. The IRS or state validation program sets business rules and reject codes and then lists the business rules or reject codes in the acknowledgment file.

Refer to the following IRS Publications for more information about business rules or reject codes.

A DAN is the number that a financial institution uses to define an account.

A direct state (or independent state) means the state tax return is transmitted directly to the state. After the return has been transmitted to the state, Thomson Reuters can pick up acknowledgments directly from the state's bulletin board or other acknowledgment system.

The following table lists the direct states for 1040, 1041, 1065, and 1120 returns.

Return type States
1040 California, Massachusetts, Texas, Michigan Cities, and Ohio Cities
1041 Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin
1065 California and Texas
1120 California and Texas

Note: A direct state is also known as an "independent state."

A drain occurs each day when transmitted returns are gathered by the receiving agency for processing.

Note: Returns that use the Modernized e-File (MeF) program are processed immediately.

E-F entries

To file Form 5500 electronically through the EFAST2 all-electronic system, you must complete registration through the EFAST2 website: efast.dol.gov/welcome. The registration process includes assigning the electronic credentials consisting of the four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) and the eight-character User Identification Number (User ID).

An EFIN is a six-digit number assigned by the IRS to accepted Electronic Return Originators (EROs). The EFIN is also used as the first six digits in the 11-digit preparer Personal Identification Number (PIN).

An electronic filing transmitter is an entity that receives electronic returns from preparers and transmits the returns to the taxing authority in a format the taxing authority can process.

An EFT is the use of direct deposit or electronic funds withdrawal (EFW).

An ERDS is a bank product where a refund is deposited with Refund Advantage, and the taxpayer receives the remainder of the refund, minus applicable fees, through disbursements such as Check, Direct Deposit, or Prepaid Debit Card.

An EFW is the use of electronic funds withdrawal (or direct debit) to pay a balance due.

An ERO is an IRS-approved transmitter of electronic returns.

An ERO PIN is an 11-digit partially self-selected identification number used in lieu of a signature. In conjunction with the taxpayer / spouse PIN, the ERO PIN allows filing of an electronic return without paper. This 11-digit number consists of the six-digit Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN), plus a five-digit self-selected number entered by the ERO.

The electronic return record creation is the procedure in which the actual electronic file is created. This occurs during the print process within UltraTax CS.

An ETIN is a five-digit number that the IRS assigns to electronic filing transmitters or software developers.

Federal / State Electronic Filing is a cooperative one-stop filing program between the IRS and various state tax administration agencies. This program allows the filing of both federal and state income tax returns through the IRS Electronic Filing System.

Note: Filing federal and state returns together is also referred to as "indirect" states.

Paper forms that are not included in the transmitted electronic file must be attached to Form 8453. Only the specified forms or supporting documents listed on Form 8453 can be submitted using the form.

If you do not use a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to sign the electronic file, Form 8453-B is the signature document that accompanies the filing of an electronically filed Form 1065-B, U.S. Return of Income for Electing Large Partnerships. This form must be signed, dated, and attached to the electronic return prior to creating the electronic file and serves as an authorization for an electronic funds withdrawal (direct debit) entry for the balance due of the return. For information about attaching documents to the electronic file, see Electronic Filing Attachments dialog.

Form 8453-C is the signature document that accompanies the filing of an electronically filed corporate return. This form also serves as an authorization for an electronic funds withdrawal (direct debit) entry for the balance due of the return. No additional paper documents can be submitted with Form 8453-C. For information about attaching documents to the electronic file, see Electronic Filing Attachments dialog.

Form 8453-EO is the signature document that completes the filing of an electronically filed exempt organization return. This form also serves as an authorization for an electronic funds withdrawal (direct debit) entry for the balance due of the return. No additional paper documents can be submitted with Form 8453-EO. For information about attaching documents to the electronic file, see Electronic Filing Attachments dialog.

If you do not use a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to sign the return, Form 8453-EX is the signature document that authenticates and completes the electronic filing of a heavy highway vehicle use tax return. This form also serves as an authorization for an electronic funds withdrawal (direct debit) entry for the balance due of the return.

If you do not use a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to sign the return, Form 8453-FE is the signature document that completes the filing of an electronically filed estate or trust return. This form also serves as an authorization for an electronic funds withdrawal (direct debit) for the balance due of the return.

For information about attaching documents to the electronic file, see Electronic Filing Attachments dialog.

Form 8453-I is the signature document that accompanies the filing of an electronically filed Form 1120-F. This form also serves as an authorization for an electronic funds withdrawal (direct debit) entry for the balance due of the return. No additional paper documents can be submitted with Form 8453-I. For information about attaching documents to the electronic file, see Electronic Filing Attachments dialog.

If you do not use a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to sign the electronic file, Form 8453-PE is the signature document that accompanies the filing of an electronically filed Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income. This form must be signed and dated and attached to the electronic return prior to creating the electronic file. For information about attaching documents to the electronic file, see Electronic Filing Attachments dialog.

Form 8453-S is the signature document that accompanies the filing of an electronically filed S Corporation return. This form also serves as an authorization for an electronic funds withdrawal (direct debit) entry for the balance due of the return. No additional paper documents can be submitted with Form 8453-S. For information about attaching documents to the electronic file, see Electronic Filing Attachments dialog.

For 1040 returns, Electronic Return Originators (EROs) give Form 9325 to taxpayers as an acknowledgment that the return is being filed electronically. Form 9325 includes the date on which the electronic return was accepted, general information about bank products, and the IRS phone numbers to call if there are questions. A facsimile of Form 9325 is available for states in UltraTax CS.

For 1065, 1120, 1041, 990, and 5500 returns, UltraTax CS provides a similar worksheet, Acknowledgement and General Information For Taxpayers Who File Returns Electronically, which indicates that a return has been transmitted to the IRS, whether the return has been accepted, and the IRS-assigned Document Locator Number (DLN), if applicable.

I-M entries

An independent state (or direct state) means that the state tax return is transmitted directly to the state. After the return has been transmitted to the state, Thomson Reuters can pick up acknowledgments directly from the state's bulletin board or other acknowledgment system.

The following table lists the independent states for 1040, 1041, 1065, and 1120 returns.

Return type States
1040 California, Massachusetts, Texas, Michigan Cities, and Ohio Cities
1041 Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin
1065 California and Texas
1120 California and Texas

Note: An independent state is also known as a "direct state."

An indirect state return is a return that is filed together with a federal return. This is a cooperative one-stop filing program (called Federal / State Electronic Filing) between the IRS and various state tax administration agencies. This program allows the filing of both federal and state income tax returns through the IRS Electronic Filing System.

An authentication, used by the electronic signature web service, to confirm the taxpayer's identity.

Linked applies only to the Modernized e-File (MeF) program. If the state return is linked to the federal return, the IRS confirms that the federal return was accepted before making the state return available to the state.

The IRS (and the Department of Labor [DOL] for 5500 returns) extended electronic filing capabilities to the following entities through the MeF program, which uses a new architecture for electronic filing.

1040 returns - Beginning with the 2013 filing season

1120 and 990 returns - Beginning with the 2003 filing season

1065 returns - Beginning with the 2006 filing season

Michigan Business Tax (MBT) returns - Beginning with the 2008 filing season

1041 returns - Beginning with the 2014 filing season Forms 1041, 8868, and 7004 

5500 returns - Beginning with the 2009 filing season

P-S entries

A PDI indicates that additional paper documents are attached to Form 8453. An example of such a document is Form 8332, Release of Claim to Exemption for Child of Divorced or Separated Parents, for 1040 returns.

Time and day return is considered sent to the IRS. To find time and day information, choose Utilities > Electronic Filing Status, or click the Electronic Filing Status button on the UltraTax CS toolbar, and then expand the client's entry in the list. For 1040 returns, the postmark is shown in the transmitter's time zone. For corrected returns retransmitted within the retransmission period, the detail may also show the original submission date according to the rules in IRS Publication 1345, Handbook for Authorized IRS e-file Providers of Individual Income Tax Returns.

The Practitioner PIN method is an electronic signature method for taxpayers to electronically file a return using a five-digit PIN.

For 1040 returns, the Practitioner PIN method differs from the Self-Select PIN method in that the date of birth, prior-year PIN, and prior-year adjusted gross income of the taxpayer (and spouse, if applicable) are not required. The Electronic Return Originator (ERO) assumes the responsibility of confirming the identity of the taxpayer / spouse.

The Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) is available from the IRS. UltraTax CS will substitute the PTIN for preparer SSN in the preparer block of your clients' federal and/or state returns when appropriate.

A reject code or business rule is a number that represents an invalid condition within an electronic return record. The IRS or state validation program sets reject codes and business rules and then lists the reject codes or business rules in the acknowledgment file.

Refer to the following IRS Publications for more information about business rules or reject codes.

A number assigned by the Department of Labor (DOL) with each electronically filed 5500 return. You will need to enter this ID number in the Amended return: Original return acknowledgment ID number field in Screen 5500 in the General folder if you amend the return.

An RTN defines a specific bank and is a nine-digit number that must start with 01 through 12 or 21 through 32. The RTN is used for direct deposit and electronic funds withdrawal.

Form 2290 filers will receive a watermarked Schedule 1 after the electronic file is accepted and tax is fully paid. This watermarked Schedule 1 is required for tags and vehicle registration. Retrieve Schedule 1 via CS Connect and access the form at the location(s) chosen in the Setup > 2290 Heavy Vehicle Use Tax > Other Return Options > Document/form destination group box.

The Self-Select PIN method is an electronic signature method for taxpayers to file a return electronically using a five-digit PIN. The Self-Select PIN method uses the entry of the taxpayer's (and spouse's, if applicable) prior-year adjusted gross income, prior-year PIN, and date of birth to confirm their identity. This data is included in the electronic file.

Note: The IRS does not support the self-select PIN method for 1120, 1065, 990, or 2290 returns.

Service bureaus provide computer-related services, such as tax return processing with tax applications, for a fee.

Special characters are characters other than alpha or numeric characters that are allowed only in certain cases. Examples of special characters include ampersand (&), hyphen (-), backslash (\), comma (,), percent (%), single spaces, less than (<), plus (+), or period (.).

Note: UltraTax CS strips invalid characters from fields and for 1040 and 1041 converts all lower-case characters to upper-case characters in the electronic file.

For a complete list of special characters, please refer to IRS Publication 4164, Modernized e-File Guide for Software Developers and Transmitters, Part I, Section 5.

A statement record is used in the electronic file when the number of data items exceeds the number that can be contained in the space provided on the printed schedule or form or when a statement of explanation is required for a specific condition.

Note: This does not apply to returns that use the Modernized e-File (MeF) program.

Before official acceptance in the IRS e-file program, stockpiling is collecting returns from taxpayers or from another Authorized IRS e-file Provider.

After official acceptance to participate in the IRS e-file program, stockpiling is waiting more than three calendar days to submit a return to the IRS after the ERO has all necessary information for origination.

The stockpiling rule does not apply when forms in the return are delayed for processing by the IRS or during IRS server downtime.

The Summary record is the final record within a return. The Summary record contains electronic filing identification data; counts of the schedules, forms, and statements included in that return; and indicators for paper documents attached to Form 8453.

Note: This does not apply to returns that use the Modernized e-File (MeF) program.

T-U entries

A Tax Return Record is an electronic file that UltraTax CS creates. The Tax Return Record contains the tax return data converted into the IRS-specified format.

The taxing authority is the agency responsible for processing the electronic return, such as the IRS or applicable state.

1040 and 1041 taxpayers have the option of selecting their own PIN. Also, see Practitioner PIN method and Self-Select PIN method. The taxpayer / spouse PIN consists of any five digits, other than all zeroes (00000).

A third-party application vendor is a vendor other than Thomson Reuters who transmits electronic returns.

Transmission is the process by which returns, created in electronic format, are sent electronically to a transmitter, such as Thomson Reuters, for subsequent transmission to the appropriate agency.

The transmitter is the company, firm, organization, or individual that receives returns from the Electronic Return Originators (EROs) (or from the client directly) and transmits the data to the tax agencies electronically, in a format that the tax agencies can process.

Unlinked applies only to the Modernized e-File (MeF) program. For states that are unlinked, the IRS validates that the state participates in the State Stand Alone program before making the state return available to the state. The IRS does not validate the state return or base acceptance on the federal return being accepted as it does under the linked or joint federal / state application.

A User ID is an eight-character entry that, along with the Personal Identification Number (PIN), constitutes the signer credentials required for 5500 electronic returns. Signers can obtain the electronic credentials by registering on the EFAST2 website at efast.dol.gov.

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