Welcome back! Ask questions, get answers, and join our large community of tax professionals.
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Attaching PDF Documents to an E-file Return


Attaching PDF Documents to an E-file Return

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 in conjunction with our extensive set of diagnostics to determine when a form attachment is required, generate that form as a PDF, and include with the electronic return when electronically filed.

Lacerte supports the transmission of PDF attachments for the following returns:

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. Go to the Settings menu at the top of the program.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Within the Setup Tab, Switch Auto Generate and Attach PDFs to EFiles to No.
  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.

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).

Size Limits:

E-File attachments are limited to a combined size of 32 MB.  This means;

  • you can have as many attachments as needed but the combined size of the attachments cannot exceed 32MB.

While 32 MB is the maximum combined size, you could experience issues transmitting the EF return at around 20 MB.  If you are having difficulty transmitting an EF return with attachments that are ~ 20 MB in combined size, we recommend reducing the size of the PDF(s).

If you have PDFs created 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 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.

Was this helpful?

You must sign in to vote, reply, or post
Labels (1)