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Introducing 2D Barcodes

For the 2012 tax year, we introduced two-dimensional (2D) barcode technology on a limited number of personal income tax forms. Tax software companies have the option to develop 2D barcode tax returns or continue with the scannable format. Using 2D barcodes allows us to process paper-filed returns more efficiently.

  • Form 540, California Resident Income Tax Return.
  • FTB 5805, Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Individuals and Fiduciaries.
  • Schedule CA (540), California Adjustments - Residents.
  • Schedule D (540), California Capital Gain or Loss Adjustment.
  • Schedule P (540), Alternative Minimum Tax and Credit Limitations - Residents.
  • California Schedule W-2, Wage and Tax Statement

All data from the six forms listed above will print as 2D barcodes on new form FTB 3830, 2D Barcode Data Sheet. Depending on the amount of data in a tax return, multiple pages of form FTB 3830 may print to accommodate all of the 2D barcodes. The original forms and schedules will also be printed and need to be included with the tax return.

Example Form 3830:

Image of Example of Form 3830.

If your tax preparation software uses 2D barcodes, it should print the tax return in the following order:

  • Form 540 (all three sides).
  • Form FTB 3830 (all pages).
  • All other forms and schedules of the tax return.

To avoid processing delays, verify that the tax return is assembled in this order.

Currently, about 11 tax software developers use 2D barcodes in their tax preparation software.

Back to February 2013 Tax News