Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Concerning Software Tax Products

Why does the return generated from my software tax product look different than the standard return issued by the North Carolina Department of Revenue?

The data needed to process the return is extracted from a scannable band located on the first page of the returns. NCDOR uses the scan band format to process returns through our data capture system. Returns are processed accurately and refunds quicker. Use of scannable forms is part of the Department's continuing effort to improve taxpayer service. The detailed line-by-line information for the amount fields in the scan band is shown on accompanying pages. Your software product is transferring information into the scan band from the line-by-line information. The detailed line-by-line information on the accompanying pages is not data-captured, but is used to assist taxpayers in understanding the form.

What computer-generated returns have scan bands?

Below are examples of forms with scan bands.
Corporate: CD-401S, CD-405, CD-425, NC-478 Series
Individual: D-400, D-400TC, D-410
Partnership: D-403, D-403TC
Estate and Trust: D-407, D-407TC

What are the reasons computer generated returns are rejected by NCDOR?

There are five common reasons why returns generated from software tax products are rejected.

  • The return was generated using an unauthorized software product. An unauthorized tax form cannot process through the Department's processing system.
  • The print quality of the return is so poor the information on the return is not legible.
  • The submitted return was a photocopy that was resized in the copying process to the extent that the Department's processing system could not extract data from the return. Only original returns are accepted.
  • The return was not a version created and not recognized by our processing system.
  • The tax year on a prior return was marked through and the current year was printed. A prior year return cannot be processed as a current year tax return.

Is there a list of approved software tax products?

Yes. This list is available to the public via NCDOR web site. The list is updated weekly throughout the approval season. Click here to access the list.

My paid preparer entered an old address on my return. Could I cross out the old address and write in my current address?

No. Ask your paid preparer to print another return with the correct address. NCDOR uses the address in the scan band for its records. Hand corrections are not recognized by our system.

I mistyped my social security number on my return. Can I write the correct number above the printed social security number?

No. Software products are designed to allow for the correction of data. Correct the SSN in the product and reprint a corrected return.

If I have not received my Withholding Account ID number from NCDOR, should I write in "applied for" under "Account ID" until I receive my assigned number?

No. Tax preparers must use forms NC-5A or NC-5PA and leave the Account ID blank until a number has been assigned to the taxpayer. Once a number has been assigned, forms NC-5 and NC-5P must be used with the assigned number entered on the forms.