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Practitioner PIN for non-paid preparer/self-prepared

Does anybody get this error while trying to e-file (return marked as non-paid preparer or self-prepared). This applies to all business returns and individual returns...

"A valid ERO practitioner PIN must be entered to file electronically when using the practitioner PIN signature method"

No problems e-filing when I'm marked down as a paid-preparer. 

The issue is that on Part III of the Form 8879, the ERO/PIN combo isn't coming through; just the ERO. And the self-select PIN on the E-file authorization statement isn't coming through either. However, when I mark it as paid-preparer, then my selected PIN shows up. 

All info is entered in the ERO info and firm preparer info in the options screen. 

The only work around is by marking myself as a paid-preparer, however, I'm not a paid-preparer on a lot of returns.... 

Anybody know of a fix or is at least having the same issue??


  • Me:  I am trying to efile an Individual MA return and keep getting an error message about my ero info. I have doubled checked everything and see no issues. Is there an issue on your end?
    Proseries chat:  Is the tax return marked as self-prepared or non-paid preparer?
    Me: yes
    Proseries Chat: That is what the issue is. We're currently having issues on state returns marked as "Self-prepared" or "non-paid" preparer and it's going to get fixed in an update this week.
    Me:  Why do I keep buying this software year after year?

I had to uncheck something when opening my own file this year to get rid of this error message.  I believe it was the "Preparer is Third Party Designee" in Part V of the Federal Info Worksheet. 

  • Thanks for the tip. This might work for individuals. Not sure what to do about business returns though since there's no 3rd party designee info on there.
  • After reading your question again, I think the solution I posted was for a different problem.

I'm not having this problem.

I don't know if this will help or not, but did you check the two little boxes under Tools/Options/Electronic Return Originator Info when you installed the software or at some time after installing the software?  At least one of these boxes is new this year and needs to be checked in order for the ERO/paid preparer info to work correctly, even though it won't stay checked.

  • tried it to no avail! Thanks though. At least ProSeries is aware of the problem and are hopefully working on a fix.

There is NO FIX to enter incorrect information. The designations indicate the skill level of the person who prepared the tax return.

A professional tax preparer who prepares and signs a tax return for a a Paid Preparer, someone capable and authorized to do such work. A Non Paid Preparer is a trained volunteer qualified to do only the types of returns they have been taught to do. Self prepared refers to a taxpayer preparing his or her own tax return.

  • Fine.  But how would you classify an untrained brother-in-law, who is an insurance salesman that knows just enough about taxes to get the majority of simple returns right, and who works pro bono?

I overrode  the preparers info with the  correct entry It had the wrong code in it

  • I don't think you can efile with an override on the return. It would be better if you edited the error. I also show myself as the preparer on ProBono returns.  The IRS is looking at returns that appear to have been professionally prepared and are marked as self prepared.

Within the Information Worksheet, go to Part V and check "Non-Paid Preparer" - this will remove your name from the preparer section of the 1040.

Let me know if you can't find it!


    Intuit is working on the problem..for now they suggest override & enter your ERO Pin #.

    • Tried override on 8879-S but e-filing still rejected.
    • Yeah, no ones comments actually helped. The fact is, it's a software issue that needs to be fixed. I don't care that the work around is marking it as a paid-preparer because then it's an incorrect tax return.
    • "because then it's an incorrect tax return"

      Ok, put me in jail and throw away the key.
    • No need for the sarcasm. I'm just stating that it's wrong. I could care less how you file your tax returns.
    • How much does the refund or balance due change if you are shown as a paid preparer?
    • It's an 1120S, so no tax due anyway. Silly question, though. Does the refund or balance change if you put a wrong business activity code? Does it change if you put cash vs accrual? Date of incorporation? Surely you want to make the return as accurate as possible, right?
    • I have forced an over-ride and still get the same information.
      Strange that the Federal Returns go through just fine.
      When does Proseries anticipate a fix?
      and how do we get an actual response from them?
    • Was chat support able to give you any idea if they're working on the problem?
    • >>>I don't care that the work around is marking it as a paid-preparer because then it's an incorrect tax return.>>>

      OK, so charge them 25 cents.  Then it will be correct.  And you can crawl back under your rock.
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