A NOTES page message tells me that "both names together must not exceed 35 characters." How do I correct this? I am using the taxpayer names as they appear on the SSN cards.
Count the characters in the combined name shown at the top of the Notes page, including spaces and any ampersand added by the software. The combined length of the taxpayer's and spouse's first and last names shown there cannot exceed 35 characters. For example, 33 entered characters become 37 below because of three spaces and an ampersand:
If the names on the return exceed the 35 character limit, the software automatically shortens names following IRS rules for shortening and abbreviating names. If the result meets the 35 character limit, you see the below Note, advising you of the format of the shortened name(s) that the software will use for the electronic transmission:
NAME TOO LONG TO E-FILE.
Name was shortened to: A & G VISIGOTHVISIGOTHVISI
Per Publication 1346, error reject code 0033, the name line cannot have
more than 35 characters. The name was automatically shortened for the
return to be e-filed successfully.
(Note that the shortened name that appears in the Note is for the electronic transmission file. The names will still appear on the forms and schedules when viewing or printing the return as they were entered on screen 1 .)
If the software automatically shortens the names, but the result still does not meet the 35 character limit (for example, in a joint return where both taxpayers have long names and/or different last names), you receive EF message 5131, and must make the changes manually in order to file electronically:
NAMES CONTAIN TOO MANY CHARACTERS: The combined names of the taxpayer and spouse cannot exceed 35 characters.
Return to screen 1 and try these solutions:
1) Use initials for second given (middle) name. Mary Sue Jones -> Mary S Jones
2) Delete second initials. Mary S Jones -> Mary Jones
3) Use only initials for spouse's given name. Mary Jones -> M Jones
4) Use only initials for primary taxpayer's given name. For instance, Jonathan Smith -> J Smith