Did you know barcode scanning can speed up tax preparations for both individuals and companies? In November 2010, the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) announced that it was adding bar codes to W-2 forms. Then, in November 2011, the IRS also published a set of bar code specifications for the K-1 forms for individual returns (1041s) and corporate returns (1065s and 1120s).
In order to implement the use of new bar-coded forms, the IRS created a set of procedures which streamline the testing and certification process for all companies using bar coded schedule K-1 forms. Under these procedures, coded K-1 forms must be created according to certain specifications, and the printed forms must be mailed to the IRS for testing and certification.
If you decide to take advantage of these changes and are using a tax preparation software, ensure that it is an IRS certified solution before you start. In addition, be sure to select a 2D bar code scanner that will be able to read this information.
Using scanners to read bar codes on these tax forms is not the only way to speed up tax preparation – you may also want to consider scanning drivers’ licenses. Almost all states now have bar codes on their drivers’ licenses. Scanning a driver’s license barcode speeds up the input of personal information from clients, and also provides an additional level of client verification. In other words, it is one more way to ensure that clients’ refund requests are valid.