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Attaching PDF documents to a business return for e-file


Attaching PDF documents to a business return for e-file

Before you start:

  • There is not an option to preview the attached PDF file nor to print the attached PDF with the return.
  • PDF files are limited in size. The entire file, including PDF attachments, submitted via e-file is limited to 32 MB.  A single attachment is limited to 1.5MB.
  • PDF files cannot be attached to returns after they are transmitted for e-file.
  • For assistance attaching PDF's to 1040 returns see Attaching PDF documents to a 1040 return for e-file

Automatically attaching PDF's when required:

The PDF Auto-Attach feature will attach forms generated by the program that are required to be part of the electronic return as a PDF.  This feature works  with our diagnostics to generate that form as a PDF, and include with the electronic return when electronically filed.

To see a video demonstration of the Auto-Attach feature watch this short video.

The option to auto-generate and attach PDF's can be turned off.  This may be necessary in some situations where the auto-generate and attach is interfering with manual PDF attachment options.

  1. From the Settings menu choose Options
  2. Click on the Setup tab.
  3. Change Switch Auto Generate and Attach PDFs to EFiles to No.

Follow these steps to attach a PDF to a Federal return:

  1. Scan the document and create a PDF file. For optimal results, we recommend scanning in black and white and no higher than 300 DPI.
  2. Go to the Electronic Filing screen:
    • Screen 4 (Partnership)
    • Screen 4.2 (Corporate)
    • Screen 3.2 (S Corporate)
    • Screen 5 (Exempt Organization)
    • Screen 2.2 (Fiduciary)
    • Screen 4 (Benefit Plan)
  3. Click on PDF Attachment.
  1. ​Click on Attach PDF.
  1. ​Click Browse Files or Browse DMS (depending on where the file is saved) to locate and select the PDF version of the file.  Click Open and then click OK.
The name of the PDF should now appear in the Description of file field. The PDF is now attached to the return.
  1. Choose the form you want to link the PDF to using the Link to form (defaults to main form) drop-down menu.
  1. Select the Activity name or number (e.g. 3=3rd Form 3115) (Ctrl+T) (if applicable).
  2. Verify that the Yes button is selected under Send PDF attachment with federal return.  The Send PDF attachment with federal return will not appear when e-filing a Federal Only return, or when filing with states that do not support PDF attachments.
  3. Click on Add from the left navigation panel to add additional PDF Attachments.
  4. Repeat Steps 3-9 for each additional attachment.

Follow these steps to attach a PDF to a State return:

Attaching PDFs to State returns is the same process as attaching PDFs to the Federal Return. If the state allows PDF attachments there will be a separate section for the state.

  1. Check the box, Send PDF attachment with [STATE] return and
  2. Select the appropriate option or enter the Form and line number on state return (this input varies for states).

If your PDF is above the size limit and you have created them from scanned documents, you can reduce their file size by scanning in black and white/grayscale or monochrome and by reducing the dots per inch (DPI) when scanning.

  1. Remove the attached PDFs from the return.
  2. Reduce the size of the PDF's by re-scanning them in B&W at 200-300dpi.
  3. Attach the new PDFs and e-file the return.

Additional Information:

  • Do not attach any documents that require IRS approval or attention.
  • If the taxpayer is signing the return using Form 8453-C, a signed copy must be attached prior to transmission of the return.
  • After the PDF is attached to the return, the original PDF document can be moved or deleted and it will not affect the return.

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