Avoiding Common Errors When Using Tax Software to Prepare Your Return


Following this list of guidelines will ensure that your tax return is processed efficiently and your refund is processed faster.

  • Do not send photocopies of returns for processing. Send original tax returns only.
  • Verify your information on the tax return before mailing it to the Department.
    Is your Social Security Number correct?
    Is your name and address correct?
    Is your filing status correct?
  • If taxpayer information on the printed return is incorrect, do not make changes on your tax return by crossing out or writing over information. Instead, correct the error in the package and reprint the corrected return.

Printer Errors

  • Return is printed too light. The Department's processing system cannot read returns that are printed too light. Reprint the return.
  • Return is printed too dark. Printing the return too dark may smear the information on a tax return and make it unreadable. The Department uses barcodes to identify tax returns. The barcode often smears if the printer applies too much ink and cannot be read. If the barcode or tax information smears, reprint the return.
  • Return printed with extra streaks, marks, or lines may affect the ability of the Department's processing system to read your tax information correctly. Reprint the return if all taxpayer information cannot be clearly identified.
  • Do not use the "reverse print" option.
  • Return is "Shrink to Fit". The Department's processing system cannot process forms printed in this format. Set the page scaling to "NONE" before printing forms.
  • Forms must be printed on 8 1/2 x 11’ standard paper.

Errors Using Forms Library Products

If you are using a forms library product, such as STF's Superform product, you must follow the specific instructions provided by the product to file tax returns. Forms library products rely on the taxpayer to correctly enter the variable information on a return to meet the Department's specifications. Follow these guidelines to enter tax information correctly:

  • Always use the latest version of the software. Do not use saved profiles to file returns.
  • Turn on calculation features
  • Type dollar amounts without commas
  • Type dates in a MM DD YY format
  • Type Account ID numbers, SSNs, and FEINs without spaces or dashes. Your Account ID number will always be 9 digits.
  • Taxpayers without Account ID numbers must file their withholding information on the NC-5A or NC-5PA forms.
  • Use capital letters
  • Use the program to input all information. Do not enter any tax information by hand.

Mailing Errors

  • Mail your W-2 forms with your return. Staple your W-2s at the bottom left-hand corner of the D-400 or D-400TC.
  • Mail the return in an 8½ x 11 envelope if the return has more than 4 pages.
  • Send D-400 refund mail to:
    NC Department of Revenue
    PO Box R
    Raleigh, NC 27634-0001
  • Send all other D-400 returns to:
    NC Department of Revenue
    PO Box 25000
    Raleigh, NC 27640-0640