Help and Error Messages

  1. What type of hardware and software is required to use Wisconsin e-file?
  2. I cannot download/install Adobe Reader XI. What can I do?
  3. I know I have downloaded and installed Adobe Reader XI, but I keep getting an error message. What should I do?
  4. What does the question mark symbol mean within Wisconsin e-file and how does it work?
  5. What does the X mark symbol mean within Wisconsin e-file and how does it work?
  6. What does the exclamation point symbol mean within Wisconsin e-file and how does it work?
  7. What should I do when I try to submit my return and I get a message that says: "Error-Your return submission was not successful."?
  8. Why do I get a Security Warning when I open my return for the first time?
  9. Why do I get a Security Warning when I try to submit my return?

  1. What type of hardware and software is required to use Wisconsin e-file?

    Adobe Acrobat Reader 9.1 or higher is required to use Wisconsin e-file. You can download Adobe Reader XI here for free.
    Download times will vary based on Internet connection speed. Adobe Reader XI has certain system requirements - you can review them here.

    Windows Vista operating system is not compatible with Adobe 11.0.03 – you must download an earlier version of Adobe in order to access Wisconsin e-file.  Click here to download a version of Adobe that's compatible with your computer.

  2. I cannot download/install Adobe Reader XI. What can I do?

    First, check your system requirements to see if your computer is capable of supporting Adobe Reader XI.

    If your computer meets the system requirements, please call the Adobe customer service telephone number at 1-800-833-6687 between the hours of 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. When calling this number:

    Select # 2: Customer Service/Technical Support.

    You may also receive free assistance with downloads/installation from Adobe at helpx.adobe.com/reader.html.

    If your computer doesn't meet the system requirements, other e-filing options are available through:
    VITA/TCE sites
    Free File Alliance
    Web-based filing
    Off-the-Shelf or Downloaded Software
    Find a Tax Preparer

  3. I know I have downloaded and installed Adobe Reader XI, but I keep getting an error message. What should I do?

    If you get a message similar to one of these messages, you should double click on the AdobeTest.pdf icon below:

    • "This file appears to use a new format that this version of Acrobat does not support. It may not open or display correctly. Adobe recommends that you upgrade to the latest version of Acrobat products. Please visit our product site at adobe.com/acrobat"; OR
    • "To view the full contents of this document, you need a later version of the PDF viewer. You can upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader from getadobe.com/reader/. For further support, go to adobe.com/support/reader/."

    Double click on the icon below:
    Icon to check your version of Adobe Reader Adobe 9 Test PDF file

    After you have double clicked on the Adobe9Test.pdf icon:

    • If you receive the message: "You need to upgrade your version of Adobe in order to use WI e-File", you should refer to question number 2 – "I cannot download/install Adobe Reader XI. What should I do?"
    • If you receive the messages: "Congratulations! You have Adobe 9.2 as required for WI e-File", try the Steps below (for Windows only)

    Step 1. Right click on the form you need. Then click "Save Target As..." (see image below).

    Save Target As

    Step 2. A window will appear prompting you to save or open the form (see image below). Save the form to your computer (save is highlighted in red in image).

    Save As Dialogue Box

    Step 3. After the download completes, you will have the option to open the form or close the download box. Choose "Close" (see image below).

    Download Complete/Close

    Step 4. Go to your desktop (or the location on your computer where you have the Adobe Reader icon). The Adobe Reader icon looks like the image below.

    Adobe Reader 9 Icon

    Step 5. Double click on this icon to open it, you will get a screen that looks like the image below. Click "File", then "Open" on this screen.

    Adobe Reader File/Open

    Step 6. Navigate/move to the form you saved using the box that pops up (see image below). Highlight the form with your mouse and either double click on it or click Open (highlighted in red in the image below):

    Highlight Document to Open

    Step 7. After you take these steps, you have opened your tax form directly into Adobe Reader. The messages you previously received should be gone.

  4. What does the question mark symbol mean within Wisconsin e-file and how does it work?

    This is a Help button and Help Link. This symbol indicates there is Help available for the field. Hold the mouse pointer over the symbol to view the help message. Further information may be available if you click on this symbol.

  5. What does the X mark symbol mean within Wisconsin e-file and how does it work?

    This is an Error message. This symbol indicates there is something wrong with the field. Hold the mouse pointer over the symbol to view the help message to fix the error. All error messages must be fixed before you will be able to file your tax return.

  6. What does the exclamation point symbol mean within Wisconsin e-file and how does it work?

    This is a Caution message. This symbol indicates there is a caution about what has been entered into the field. Hold the mouse pointer over the symbol to view the message.

  7. What should I do when I try to submit my return and I get a message that says: "Error-Your return submission was not successful."?

    If you get this message, make sure you are connected to the Internet. You must be connected to the Internet to submit your tax return through Wisconsin e-file.

    If you are connected to the Internet, it could be that Wisconsin e-file is temporarily unavailable. You should save your return in a portable document format (PDF) to your computer or other storage device (CD, flash drive, etc.) by clicking "File" and "Save As" before closing Wisconsin e-file. Try submitting your return at a later time.

    If you continue to have problems with submitting your return, you should contact DOR by:

  8. Why do I get a Security Warning when I open my return for the first time?

    Adobe Acrobat Reader will warn you any time that a PDF attempts to connect to the Internet. When you open the return to file for the first time, the PDF checks to make sure you have the most current version available. A warning message like the one below may appear on your screen to indicate that this check is occurring. Check the box "Remember my action for this site" and click Allow to begin your return.

    Security warning with Allow button circled

  9. Why do I get a Security Warning when I try to submit my return?

    Adobe Acrobat Reader will warn you any time that a PDF attempts to connect to the Internet. When you click the Submit Return button button on your Wisconsin e-file form, warning messages like the ones in the images below may appear on your screen. Check the box "Remember my action for this site" and click Allow button on each of these warnings to submit your return.

    Example of Security Warnings

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Electronic Filing Unit
Mail Stop 5-77
P.O. Box 8949
Madison, WI 53708-8949
Phone: (608) 264-6886
Fax: (608) 267-1030
Email Additional Questions

Last updated January 6, 2014