Reporting Agent FAQ

1. How do I transfer my 941Express Information to Quarterly Express Plus?
For most users, the 941Express database will migrate automatically. For those where it doesn’t, you can go to the 941Express 2014 (or 2013) DB folder and copy the 941Express.db file from that location to the Quarterly Express Plus DB folder. Rename the file to QexPlus.db and restart the software. Keep in mind that this will only migrate the database and transmission history, not the returns. The returns from 941Express are not compatible.

2. Why can’t I create returns using the new software?

This software must be activated with a license before you can create new returns. This license should have been delivered in a separate e-mail after the purchase, or prepaid purchase of a license. If you can’t locate the license key, contact us at

3. Why am I printing blank pages when attempting to print my return?

The software contains a Forms folder that should have the print templates installed. It is possible that those print templates are missing. Go to the Settings menu and choose the Update Print Forms option. If this succeeds, then try to print the return again. If not, then try going to the Forms folder under the Program Files folder and moving them to the forms folder under the DB repository directory.

4. What is the “Sign Return” option and how can I do this as a Reporting Agent?

As a Reporting Agent, your returns will be signed using your Reporting Agent PIN and EFIN that will be placed in the e-File Settings dialog. After creating your return, simply, click on the Sign Return option, click through the disclaimers and then Finalize the Return. Keep in mind that import customers, that all returns that are imported will be automatically signed. You will have to remove the signature to make changes to those returns first.

5. My Quarterly Express Software won’t save the license, or any of my data?

The Quarterly Express Plus software uses a repository to save information that will either be located in the default application data directory, or under the main directory of the software that was chosen during installation. Many times if an Administrator installs the product, the repository may not be available for the user when they try to use the software. Click on the Settings menu, and select the Set DB (or Repository) Location and if it is in the right location, click on the option to Create Data Directories which will insure that all of the necesary locations exist under the selected location.

6. When creating a return, the screen jumps around instead of scrolling and I can’t see the fields with the descriptions?
A new form can be adjusted to fit smaller screens by choosing the column dividers on the first row, and adjusting them. By adjusting the columns, it can allow you to see all of the columns on smaller screens and prevent the jumping around.

7. What is a Name Control and why do I need one?

A Name Control is a 4 character code used by the IRS to confirm the identity of a company. The older e-file system did not require this code, but the new MEF system does. This 4 character code is normally made up of the first 4 significant characters in the name. The easiest way for a Reporting Agent to get accurate Name Controls is to contact the IRS and ask for your Agent’s List. This list is generated as a result of your 8655’s being recorded by the IRS and it will contain each of your customers name controls. View our Help for Name Controls for more details.

8. How do I complete the e-File Settings dialog as an ERO?

A Reporting Agent should complete the entire upper portion of the e-file Settings dialog including the payment type for filing fees. Below the line in the window, a Reporting Agent needs to provide their EFIN, Reporting Agent PIN and ETIN (Direct Filer Only). The PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number) is optional. It is not necesary to complete the Third Party Designee PIN.

9. How do I transmit my returns to Lewis Software?

A Reporting Agent has 2 options for transmitting returns to Lewis Software. First once you have completed and signed your return you an select the “Transmit to LSA” menu option to send a single return to Lewis Software for processing.

If you need to send a batch, you go to the batch menu and choose either the “Transmit Multiples by Return” (click the checkbox next to the return) or “Transmit Multiple by Tax Period” (highlight companies and select period and year)

With all 3 options, the payment type chosen in the e-File Settings dialog will be used for filing fees.

10. Why can’t I select the Show Errors button?

Show Errors in Quarterly Express does not behave like Verify Return in 941Express. Show Errors is continually looking at the return and if there is an issue, it will be available to provide information on the problem. If you complete you return and Show Errors is not available, then the return is clean and you can proceed.

11. As a Direct Transmitter, how can I send a return to the IRS that was manually entered, or modified after import?

If you are importing returns that will need modifications, select the Save Batch option after the import which will save the identity of the returns the batch for later use. Once the changes have been made, you can go to Transmissions in the Company View, and select the Saved batch in order to continue processing. The next dialog will show all of the returns selected that were originally in that batch and allow you to send them to the IRS without having to select them again. Of course it is possible to add to the batch or subtract once you are at the selection page.

If you just entered or modified a single or small group of returns, you can just go to the Select Individual Returns or Generate Batch options and submit those returns to the IRS by choosing them in the selection window.

12. As a Direct Transmitter, how can I send a batch of returns to the IRS?

Within the Quarterly Express Plus software, you will first start with either Import 940/941/944 returns, Select Saved Batch, Select Individual returns or Generate Batch which all prepare returns for submission to the IRS.

Once the software asks you to send this batch to the IRS, click Yes which will copy the filename to the clipboard and send you to the MeF Internet Filing System.

  1. Go to Send Production File and choose your ETIN.
  2. Click on the Browse button and on the next page, click in the Filename box at the bottom and then hit Control-V which will paste the filename in the window. If you have used the clipboard for something else since the software put the filename in, you can find the file under the Batch folder in the Quarterly Express Plus repository.
  3. Now you will choose Open, and Submit which will send the file to the IRS.
  4. The upload window will open on the screen and after you see the 2 red checks at the bottom for Validation and Upload, you can close that window.
  5. Now you will see your Submission Reciept. The submission reciept contains the submission ID’s for each return and a GTX Key. It is not necessary to print this page, but may be useful if there are issues. It actually may be more useful to save this page rather than print it so that you can pull the submission ID’s if there are problems with obtaining the acknowledgment files.
    13. As a Direct Transmitter, how can I retrieve my acknowledgments from the IRS after submitting my file?

Once you login to the MeF Internet Filing System,

  1. Go to Retrieve Production Acknowledgements and choose your ETIN.
  2. Take the defaults if you have not requested to donwload these acknowledgments previously. If you have requested them previously, you will need to send a list of submission ID’s and select that option on this page. Use the create Submission List to generate an acceptable list of submission ID’s if necessary.
  3. After hitting submit, your submission ID’s should be listed on the page. The total number retrieved will be present at the top of the page.
  4. Choose Download, but don’t open the file. Choose the Save As option and put it in the current user’s downloads folder. The software is defaulting to look for this file in the downloads folder of the current user.
  5. Now go back to Quarterly Express Plus, and choose the Process Ack Files option on the Batch menu. This option will automatically give you a summary report, update the database and move the original file under the software framework.