Once e-file errors are cleared, validation errors can occur in the diagnostics window.
It will appear like the image below:
- The error begins with wording that appears like a web address ("http://www.irs.gov/efile). Ignore the web address in the error.
- 'Element' means the field on that particular form.
- 'The value' means the entry that you typed in that field or that calculated into that field.
- Refer to this example validation error:
'http://www.irs.gov/efile:OtherExpenseDescription' element is invalid - "The value" is invalid according to its datatype 'http://www.irs.gov/efile:ShortDescriptionType' - The Pattern constraint failed.
- This section of the error, 'OtherExpenseDescription', refers to the field of the form that contains the invalid entry.
- 'The value' section of the error refers to the text typed into that particular field.
- Click the link, and it will jump you to that field so you can fix the error. If the link doesn't automatically jump you to the error, you will need to manually navigate to the error.
The above error is caused by an error in the image below. This is how it is supposed to be entered; however, it is often entered without the "%" which is required.
- A large portion of validation errors is punctuation. Be sure to check for stray periods, double spaces, hyphens, or quotes in a field.
- Always enter descriptions in the description fields where applicable. Validation errors will also be caused where the field is blank.
- Checkboxes are another key field that can generate validation errors. If you check a box that is not needed (such as checking fields on the EIC form for a second child when only one child is included in the return), you might see a validation error.