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Preparer File Missing Changed Corrupted or Invalid Error Opening Lacerte Tax

SOLVEDby IntuitLacerte TaxUpdated November 17, 2021

Attempting to open Lacerte will fail with a message that the preparer file is missing, changed, corrupted, or invalid.

Solution:

This can happen if English is not selected under Region and language in the Control Panel.

To resolve this issue for Windows 10:

  1. Hold down the windows key and press R to open the run command.
  2. Type in Control Panel and hit enter.
  3. Click on Region.
  4. Click on the Administrative tab on the top.
  5. Click on Change system locale
  6. Select English (United States) from the drop down menu. Click ok.

To resolve this issue for Windows 8, 7 and Vista OS:

  1. Click on the Start button and select on Control Panel.
  2. Click on Clock, Language, and Region.
  3. Click on Region and Language.
  4. Click on the Formats tab.
  5. Locate the Format section.
  6. Select English (United States) from the drop down menu.

  7. Click on the Administrative tab.
  8. Click on Change System Locale.
  9. Select English (United States) from the drop down menu.

  10. Click OK to close all Region and Language Settings screens.
  11. Restart the computer.
  12. Open Lacerte.

To resolve this issue for Windows XP:

  1. Click on Start.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on Control Panel.
  4. Double-click on Regional and Language Options.
  5. Click on the Regional Options tab and select Formats: English (United States).
  6. Click on the Advanced tab and select Version of non-Unicode: English (United States).
  7. Click Apply then OK to exit Regional and Language Options screen.
  8. Download a new preparer file.
  9. Attempt to open Lacerte again.

Other Solutions:

Rename the Firms.w? File.

  1. Browse to the location of the OPTION?? folder mentioned in the error. (?? = the tax year)
    • Default location for stand alone is C:\Lacerte\??tax\Option??\
    • Replace the C: drive with the mapped drive letter for a network install.
  2. Right-click the file Firms.w? and choose Rename.
  3. Rename the file to Firms.OLD.
  4. Launch Lacerte and it will recreate a new Firms.w? file.
  5. Go to Settings -> (Primary) Options -> Firm Info tab.
  6. Enter any missing information and then click OK.

If the error still occurs, the prep file could be damaged. 

  1. Repeat steps 1-3 above but rename the Prep.?? file instead.
  2. Sign into My Lacerte.
  3. Download a new preparer file.
  4. Attempt to open Lacerte again.

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