2-D Barcode General Information
Below are the general rules for 2-D barcodes. Failure to follow these rules will cause delays in processing of the returns.
Wisconsin will not utilize 2-D barcodes on Schedule H and Schedule H-EZ, Form 1A and WIZ. If the schedules are filed with a tax return, the captured data from the Schedule H and Schedule H-EZ will still be included in the 2-D barcode on the tax form.
Sample test forms submitted for approval must contain the exact data as test forms posted on the Department of Revenue (DOR) Internet website. Forms and 1-D barcodes must be approved before 2-D barcodes can be approved.
If any forms are revised after they have been approved, the 1-D barcode and 2-D barcode header information must be updated and the revised form must also be sent in for approval. This includes changes made to wording, captions and spacing.
The X dimension of the barcode must be at least 15 mils. Anything less will cause problems in reading the 2-D barcode. The minimum Y/X ratio of the barcode element should be 2.
Data in the 2-D Barcode
- Each barcode field must have a carriage return after each field, even if no information is contained in the field. If there is no information, leave the field blank, do not enter zeros.
- Header Information: There is information generic to all barcodes that must be placed first in the barcode data stream. The first six fields in the barcode comprise the official header. The fields in the official header are variable in length and therefore can contain as much or as little data as necessary. This information must be consistent among all barcodes and is defined below: (Note: The symbol <CR> is used to represent a single carriage return character.)
- Version Number: The current FTA standard version number for this value is static for all barcodes and is currently T1.
- Developer Code: A four digit code used to identify the Software Developer whose application produced the barcode. Software Developer codes are assigned through the NACTP.
- Jurisdiction: An alphanumeric identifier indicating the taxing jurisdiction. All Wisconsin forms must have the Jurisdiction WI.
- Form Type: Each Form Type will be different and has specific acceptable values.
- Current Year: The filing year for the tax form. This must consist of the last 2 digits of the filing year (12 for 2012).
- Software Version: The vendor defined version number reflects the software version and revision numbers. This must consist of 2 numerical digits starting with 00 and when revised will then change to 01, etc. If a form is changed after it has been approved, the version number must be incremented and the form must be sent in to be re-approved.
Header Version Number: "T1"
Developer Code: "9999"
Form Type: "FORM1"
Current Year: "12"
Software Version: "00"
Raw Header: T1<CR>9999<CR>WI<CR> FORM1<CR>12<CR>00
- End of Data: *EOD* must be printed in the last field of each barcode with a carriage return. <CR>
- Refer to the "Acceptable Values" column in the layouts for clarification of acceptable field values. The description column in the layouts is intended to cross reference the barcode field number, the form line number and the form line wording. The description may not be exact due to limitations of space. Please refer to the tax form for exact line wording.
- Do not use special characters in any field. The dash ( - ) is the only special character allowed for negative amounts, hyphenated names, and in the Zip Code field. Do not use dashes or slashes in the SSN. Commas must not be used in any field, alpha or numeric. Do not enter commas on forms or in the 2-D barcode.
- All alphabetic characters must be capital letters (A-Z).
- Numeric fields should not be zero-filled.
- Negative amounts, where allowed, must have a leading minus sign. Do not use parentheses. Fields which cannot be negative are noted in "Acceptable Values" column of the layouts.
- Only whole dollar amounts should be entered, except in fields indicated at bottom of returns where cents are allowed. For fields where cents are allowed, the cents will be a separate field.
- Check boxes should have values of 1 if the box is checked or 3 if the box is not checked.
- Titles such as JR, SR, I, II, III must be in the Last Name field, after the last name. Do not use a period after the title. Example: SMITH JR or HALVERSON III
- The middle initial must appear alone as one letter in the Middle Initial field without a period after it.
- There must be no extra spaces in data. Example: 100 E MAIN ST APT 500 B, should be entered as 100 E MAIN ST APT 500B
- Tax District fields on the forms must have the entire City, Village, Town, and County spelled out with spaces between the names. Example: MT HOREB should be spelled out as MOUNT HOREB, ST CROIX should be spelled out as SAINT CROIX
Information About Printing Returns
- The department encourages you to default the 2-D barcode to ON when your software is released. Forms with good 2-D barcodes will be processed faster. Please make every effort to print a 2-D barcode on all your returns. The 2-D barcode should be automatically generated when printing the form to ensure that the correct information is included in the 2-D barcode.
- There should only be one 2-D bar code on a return. If Schedule H or HEZ is filed with a tax return, the data from the Schedule must be included in the 2-D bar code on the first page of the tax form, there must not be a 2-D bar code on the Schedule H or H-EZ.
- The 2-D barcode only contains information that is part of the form when it is generated by the computer and printed. If a preparer or taxpayer changes any field after the form has been printed, this changed data will not be included in the 2-D barcode. The 2-D barcode must be re-generated and form re-printed so there will be a new 2-D barcode.
- Forms may be rejected by our scanning software if the ink is too light. Please make a notation in your software package to make sure the ink on the printer is dark and not faded when printing the tax form.
- Forms should be printed at full scale. If possible, this should be built into the software package. Forms printed smaller than full scale may not be recognized by our scanning software. Please make a notation in your software package that, when printing, scaling should be set to NONE.
Page last updated October 2, 2012