How to Fix Errors:

Basically the error message should indicate the nature of the problem. Some common errors include:
  • Error: unrecognized status '??'. - You need to set the filing status to one of Single, Married-filing-joint, etc.. There is a pull-down menu next to the status line to select the available options.

  • Error: unrecognized value '??'. - You need to change this entry to a valid number.

  • Error: Could not open Federal return '...' - You are on a State form that requires input from the Federal form. In this case, OTS programs expect to scan the output from the Federal form. So you need to go do the Federal form first, and Compute it to produce the Federal output file -- at least in preliminary fashion. Then you need to make sure the entry box in your State form points to the correct Federal output file. You can do this by clicking the Browse link on that line in the GUI. Navigate to the US_1040 directory (or wherever you placed it), and click OK on the US_1040..._out.txt file.

    Some forms require a somewhat iterative process, because the Federal form may in turn require a result from the State form. In such cases, the proper sequence is to enter your preliminary information on the Federal form. Click Compute. Then do your State form, and point it at the preliminary Federal output file. Finally, go back and do your final Federal run, by bringing your State Tax amount over to the Federal form, and click Compute for the last time.

  • Error: Found 'L18' when expecting 'L17' - This kind of Lxx vs. Lyy error usually only happens if you did not use the GUI but a text-editor and somehow deleted a line or critical formatting symbol. Or it could happen if OTS released a form with an error in it.

  • Error: Premature end of file. - This kind of error usually only happens if you did not use the GUI but a text-editor and somehow deleted a closing comment bracket.

  • ERROR: Bad month ..., ERROR: Bad day ..., ERROR: Bad year - You need to enter date as mm/dd/yyyy, or mm--dd--yyy. For example 4-15-2017.

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