Two Dimensional Bar Coding for Schedules K-1 is the Preferred Method


Electronic filing is now and will continue to be the preferred method of filing; however, 2D bar code is the best alternative method for paper processing.

In an effort to improve efficiency and at the same time increase data accuracy, the IRS partnered with the tax software development community on a two-dimensional bar code project in 2003. Certain tax software packages have been modified to generate 2-D bar codes on Schedules K-1. As a result, when K-1s are printed using these programs, a bar code will print on the page.

Rather than manually transcribe information from the Schedule K-1, the IRS will scan the bar code and electronically upload the information from the K-1. The results will be more efficient operation within the IRS and fewer transcription errors for your clients. See the attached PDF example indicating how the bar coded K-1 will look.

Below is a short list of Do's and Don'ts to keep in mind when generating bar codes.



Do ignore the bar code Do not print in draft mode

Do invoke the bar code option when available

Note: Some software requires this option to be turned on.

Do not make changes to K-1s after they're printed (they won't be reflected in the bar code)

 Do not deface the bar code