How to Correct an E-file Rejection

E-filing has become the most popular way to file taxes because of the convenience and increased turnaround time it offers filers. It can also reduce the number of errors in a filing. Part of the reason for this is that online tax preparation software like ours assists our customers through the process. The other part is that the IRS performs a preliminary review of each e-filing before accepting it. This preliminary review works to spot common errors and provide the individual the opportunity to fix them.

While an e-file rejection message is a bit nerve-racking the procedure for correcting and returning it is often not that difficult at all. In fact, depending on the type of error and if it is a minor problem, you may be able to resubmit in a matter of minutes.

Taxpayers are provided 10 days (calendar not work week) to correct rejected returns. If you are concerned about a notice received close to or after April 15th, do not worry. The IRS allows you until April 20th to correct an e-file rejection and resubmit it electronically.

Here is the procedure for correcting your e-file in case it is rejected:

First determine the error. There are several different errors for which an e-file may be returned, and with each the IRS will transmit a code to help determine what the error is. Note: if you are using our software programs there is no need to look up the code definition, we will do that automatically for you. Here are a list of common error responses received on 1040 submissions:

* Errors IND-031, IND-032, 0679 or 0680

If you see any of these errors, the system had difficulty identifying one or both of the taxpayers. To fix this, all you need is an e e-file PIN or your Adjusted Gross Income from the prior year. Request an e-filing PIN from the IRS, enter this PIN into the e-filing software, and resubmit your return for review.

* Error 0504

This is a very common error when you are claiming a dependent. If the dependents social security number and last name do not match what is on file with the Social Security Administration, the return will be rejected. Review the spelling on the Social Security card and resolve the error for submission.

* Errors 0502, FW2-502 or FW2G-502

Any of these errors means that there was a problem matching information from your W-2 to information on record with the IRS. If you make a mistake with the EIN or there is a typo with the EIN on your W-2, your e-file return might be rejected. Check the spelling of the Employer's name, the EIN, and spell out abbreviations. By fixing the employer's name and the EIN, you can fix the e-file rejection and transmit your return again.

* Error 0522

This error is due to an incorrect date of birth. If your birth date and Social Security number do not match, the return will be rejected. Correct your date of birth, check to see what the IRS has on file if there is a mistake, and resolve the error.

* Errors 0507 or R0000-507-01

If you are claiming a dependent and receive either of these errors, the Social Security number of the dependent has already been claimed. Check to see if the Social Security number is correct, see if you have typed the number in twice, and contact the IRS (contact information can be found here) to see who has claimed your dependent. If it was a mistake, fix the error. If the dependent has been claimed, remove the dependent from your e-file and resubmit.

There are several different rejection errors you can encounter. The e-file software that you use will give you a rejection report and explain what needs to be fixed before you can resubmit. Once you correct all of the errors, you can e-file once again. If the rejection is due to information that the IRS has on file, you may need to file a paper return until you can fix the mistakes that are leading to a mismatch.

Once you understand the error code, you can move forward onto fixing the problem and resubmitting the return. Most often these are clerical errors on critical identifying information and as such they are rejected. In the rare occurrence that a return is not able to be fixed and e-filed you will need to print your return and mail it in.



Q&A: How long do you have to fix an e-file rejection?

In most cases, if your electronic tax return gets rejected initially by the IRS, you will have an opportunity to correct the return and retransmit it. In the event that a rejection comes back after the April 15th tax deadline, you will be provided an additional five days to fix the errors and retransmit the return.

If the IRS rejects a return, it will provide an error code in order to identify what information must be fixed. Oftentimes, it can be something as simple as inputting the wrong AGI, date of birth, or Social Security number for you or a dependent.

Errors like these are typically easy to fix and can usually be completed within minutes. If for some reason the mistake is more complex or cannot be fixed when filing electronically, you may need to print out the return and mail it to the IRS.