Preparing 990 electronic returns (including batch processing)

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Follow this procedure to ensure you have entered all data specifically required for electronic returns and to create the electronic file for one client or for multiple clients (batch processing).

  1. Enter the client's tax data as usual, making sure you adhere to the guidelines for entering data.
  2. Click the Electronic Filing folder.
  3. Enter X in the File this return electronically for Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, and 990-N returns field.
  4. If the Name control: Calculated field is blank, enter information in the Name control: Force field on Screen ELF.
  5. If you use a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to sign the return instead of Form 8453-EO, enter PIN information in the Personal Identification Number (PIN) Information section on Screen ELF.
  6. Complete the Signature date field.

    Note: If you leave this field blank, UltraTax CS defaults to the option selected in the When Form 8879 (etc.) signature date(s) (Preparer and/or Client) are not entered field in the Setup > Office Configuration > Print Options tab.

  7. Complete PIN information on Screen ELF.
  8. Choose View > Diagnostics to review the diagnostic messages in the Federal Diagnostics window. Click any item displayed in the window to open the corresponding screen to address the diagnostic message. Verify that you have cleared all Critical and ELF Critical diagnostic messages and have reviewed the FYI diagnostic messages and then close the Federal Diagnostic window.
  9. Choose File > Print Returns or click the Print Print button button to open the Print Returns dialog.


    • By default, the government collation includes only the forms required to be submitted to the taxing authority when you file an electronic return. To modify these collations, choose Setup > 990 Exempt Organizations to open the 990 Product Information dialog. Then, click the desired tab (Federal or state), and click Tax Return button to modify the print collation for all electronic returns. For information about editing these collations, see Customizing the print collation for returns filed electronically. Thomson Reuters strongly recommends that you use the default collation. This will not affect which forms are included in the electronic file.
    • With the exception of Portable Document Format (PDF) attachments for electronic files, the IRS will not permit you to submit additional paperwork to the taxing authority.
  10. Mark the Government copy and the Create electronic file checkboxes.


    • To create the return or check the return for electronic filing errors without printing forms, mark only the Government copy and Create electronic file checkboxes in the Print Returns dialog.
      • To check for errors without creating the electronic file, click the Check E-File button.
      • To check for errors and create the electronic file, click the E-File button.
    • If you use a third-party application vendor to transmit returns, mark the Create electronic file (for 3rd Party) checkbox to create the electronic file. The third-party vendor is responsible for checking for errors.
  11. Click the Options button, and verify that the appropriate Federal and any state checkboxes are marked.

    Note: If you are creating the FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), clear the Federal and any state checkboxes, and mark the FinCEN Form 114 checkbox.

  12. To create electronic files for multiple clients at the same time, click the Clients button and select the appropriate clients.
  13. Click the Preview button to view the return on screen, or click the Print (or E-File) button. When you click the Preview or Print button, UltraTax CS checks for errors in the electronic file.

    Note: You must click the Print or E-File button in the Print Returns dialog to create the electronic file. Clicking the Print Preview button in the toolbar, marking the Print Selected Forms checkbox, or clicking the Preview button in the Print Returns dialog does not generate the electronic file.


  • When UltraTax CS creates electronic files, the application automatically deletes any untransmitted electronic files for a client. UltraTax CS notifies you of the returns to be deleted. If you want to abort creation of the new electronic files and keep the existing files, click Cancel. Otherwise, click OK to delete the untransmitted electronic files and create new files.
  • If you use a third-party application vendor to transmit 990 returns, UltraTax CS places the electronic file in the location you specified in the Setup > User Preferences > File Locations tab. See Changing the location of electronic files for third-party application vendor transmissions for more information.
  • If you use a third-party application vendor as your transmitter, UltraTax CS creates the electronic file without checking for errors when you print the return. The third-party application vendor checks for errors in these returns.

For information about resolving electronic filing errors and rejections, see the E-File Help Center > Resolving E-File Errors > 990 Exempt Organizations page.

Related topic: Creating the 990 electronic file and correcting errors overview

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