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How to e-file a tax return in Lacerte

SOLVEDby Intuit1Updated 3 weeks ago

Before you start:

  • To e-file any return in Lacerte, you'll need an approved Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) from the IRS.
  • To e-file any return in Lacerte your EFIN must be registered with Intuit.
  • E-file is available for three tax years. Currently, you can e-file from Lacerte 2023, 2022 and 2021.

Table of contents:

Setting up Lacerte for e-file
Preparing and e-filing the tax return
What happens after transmitting the return?
How to check for acknowledgements in Lacerte

Setting up Lacerte for e-file:

  1. From the Settings menu, select Options.
  2. Select the Firm Info tab.
  3. Enter any applicable Firm Level Information first.
    • Fed I.D. Number.
    • Telephone number.
    • Fax Number.
    • Email for the firm.
    • ERO Contact Name. The ERO is the Electronic Return Originator for the firm.
  4. Select the Preparers tab.
    • You must enter at least one preparer, but you can enter as many as you need by using the Modify button on each line.
  5. For each Preparer, enter:
    • Name as you wish it to be shown on the tax returns.
    • Phone Number for the preparer.
    • Social Security Number although the federal and most state returns will allow a PTIN to be used instead of the SSN some states still require this for e-file.
    • Preparer Tax ID Number (PTIN) is obtained from the IRS. See PTIN Requirements for Tax Return Preparers if you need to apply for one.
    • ERO PIN is any 5 digits of your choice to be the electronic signature on the tax return.
    • Designee PIN (if different) if you are being a third party designee for the return.
    • Designation.
    • E-mail Address for the preparer.
    • CAF# if applicable. This number isn't required for the general preparation and filing of taxes. See 2848 instructions for details about the CAF#.
    • If e-filing in New York, enter your NY Tax Preparer Registration # or NY Exclusion Code. See Entering a NY Preparer Exclusion Code or NYTPRIN in Lacerte for details.
  6. Once all the preparers are entered, select OK to close the Options.

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Preparing and e-filing the tax return:

  1. Open the return to Screen 1, Client Information.
  2. Under Returns, use the Add button to add the states needed for the tax return.
  3. In the Electronic Return section, check the e-file boxes for each federal and state return you need to transmit electronically.
  4. Complete the tax return as normal.
  5. If the taxpayer wants direct deposit or electronic funds withdrawal, check to make sure that is entered for the tax type. See here for details.
  6. Review Diagnostics on both the federal and state return to correct any errors.
    • Critical Diagnostic Warnings that begin with e-file: will prevent the return from being e-filed.
  7. Have the taxpayer sign any required signature documents, such as the 8879 or 8878.
  8. Once you're ready to e-file go to the E-File menu and select Start e-file Return Wizard.
  9. Check the federal or state returns you need to e-file today and select Next to validate the return.
    • Validation makes sure the return contains no critical e-file diagnostics and converts the return into the IRS readable format (XML).
    • If the return fails validation, select the error to bring you to diagnostics that will need to be resolved.
  10. Once the return passes validation, select Send e-file Returns Now.
  11. Review the Transmission log to make sure the transmission was successful.

What happens after transmitting the return?

Once you transmit the return, it's forwarded through the Intuit Electronic Filing Center to the IRS and/or agency. Once the agency accepts or rejects the return, the acknowledgements will be available for pickup in Lacerte.

  • Federal return acknowledgements are usually available within one to three days.
  • State return acknowledgements are usually available within two to five business days.
  • BSA acknowledgments (for Form 114) are usually available within two to five business days.
  • Department of Labor acknowledgements (for Form 5500) are ususally available within one business day.

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How to check for acknowledgements in Lacerte:

  1. Click on the Clients list.
  2. Highlight the clients that need updating.
  3. From the E-file menu, select Step 3: e-File Acknowledgement Statuses.
  4. Click on Receive Acknowledgement Statuses.

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