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Diagnostic Reference Ref. # Frequently Asked Questions

Intuit Help

Diagnostic Reference Ref. # Frequently Asked Questions

Basic information and FAQ about Diagnostics

There are many articles that address specific diagnostics in the program.  The best way to search is to use the diagnostic reference number, using only the numeric digits.  Searching this way will give you the best and most accurate results.  

Example: (ref. #1253), search for '1253'

Note: Articles are not available for all diagnostics.  Most diagnostics do not require additional information.

The Diagnostic reference number is a way for Lacerte support to quickly identify diagnostics that are generating in our database. In prior year Lacerte, the reference numbers were only displayed by holding down Ctrl+Alt+R while on the Diagnostics tab. Beginning in Lacerte 2012 the reference numbers are displayed automatically at the end of each diagnostic message, displayed as (ref. #xxx). 


E-file critical diagnostics and Fatal critical diagnostics will stop an e-file return from being e-filed. E-file critical diagnostics typically generate when Lacerte recognizes something that will cause an e-file reject. Make sure to resolve any e-file critical diagnostics and fatal critical diagnostics before continuing to e-file.  Additionally, some critical diagnostics that are not e-file critical diagnostics will stop the return from being e-filed. 


You can validate the e-file to check if any diagnostics will stop the return from being filed. 
  1. Click on Print
  2. Select Tax Return
  3. Select e-file validation only at the bottom of the third column in the Return section
  4. Click OK
Informational Diagnostics will generate to inform you of basic information regarding a specific return, potential issues, court cases, publication information... Typically Informational diagnostics are optional; however, it is up to you to read and deem if the information we are providing needs to be completed. 


Critical Diagnostics list items that may interfere with filing a correct return. Typically, these warnings are for entries that you must complete or correct before filing a tax return. However, some critical diagnostics are informational diagnostics that developers have made critical so you will pay attention to them. These diagnostics will not stop the e-filing of a return and in some cases will not go away. If the diagnostic does not apply to you, select the check box next to the warning message to mark it as complete. 


Marking a diagnostic as complete (checking the box, causing the diagnostic to be lined through) does not mean that the diagnostic is clear and is no longer affecting the return. If the diagnostic says "e-file" before the diagnostic message then these diagnostics will still cause the e-file to fail validation and will stop the return from being e-filed. 


With the move to Modernized e-file (MeF) beginning in TY2012, there are more e-file diagnostics to prevent e-file rejects. This includes e-file schema rejects that are generic and are caused by missing data or data that is not well-formed. If the Federal or state agencies reject a return with a Schema Reject, Lacerte will include an e-file critical diagnostic to stop that particular schema reject from occurring in the future. 


As mentioned before not all diagnostics will apply to your clients return, some are more informational than actionable (even if they are listed as Critical). Review the diagnostic and verify if the information provided is actionable to your clients return, if so correct the return as needed. If not, select the check box next to the warning message to mark it as complete.


There is a feature in the program that will allow you to bypass the e-file error checking and validate the return.

WARNING:  Lacerte Diagnostics are designed to keep you from filing an incorrect return or a return that will be rejected by the taxing authority.  Do this at your own risk and only if you are certain the diagnostic is wrong.

Follow these steps immediately before filing the return and only e-file the one return at a time:


  1. Click on E-File.
  2. Click on e-file Support Tools.
  3. Select Disable e-file Error...
  4. Click OK.
  5. E-file the return.

The error checking will automatically turn back on after the return is e-filed. 

Save time by quickly being informed on how to resolve critical diagnostics. Specific critical diagnostics will now feature a "More Info" link providing assistance on how to resolved critical diagnostic even faster. See Diagnostics More Information Link.


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