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How to edit IRS documents

Community Beginner ,
Jun 01, 2020

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I paid for this software so that I can fill in forms from the IRS. I only want to edit this PDF https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw2_18.pdf but it says that "This XFA form cannot be edited using Adobe Acrobat". What software can edit it? How do I get that software? I see that there is a how to for work arounds that remove the forms and make it so that you cannot edit the document here: https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/edit-xfa-form.html#EditXFAforms but I want to fill in the forms, not workaround which flattens and removes the forms.

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How to edit IRS documents

Community Beginner ,
Jun 01, 2020

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I paid for this software so that I can fill in forms from the IRS. I only want to edit this PDF https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw2_18.pdf but it says that "This XFA form cannot be edited using Adobe Acrobat". What software can edit it? How do I get that software? I see that there is a how to for work arounds that remove the forms and make it so that you cannot edit the document here: https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/edit-xfa-form.html#EditXFAforms but I want to fill in the forms, not workaround which flattens and removes the forms.

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Participant ,
Jun 01, 2020

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Not sure where it is you are getting an XFA form. I clicked your link and it downloaded the form as PDF (fw2_18.pdf). If I understand correctly, you're wanting to open this in Adobe Acrobat and add fill in form fields? As I said it downloaded ror me as PDF and can be edited to add form fields..

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Participant ,
Jun 01, 2020

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BTW. This form has security settings applied (likely password protected) to prevent editing. What you can do is load this into Acrobat, then "print" it to a new PDF file using the "Adobe PDF" printer choice in the print dialog. The new file doesn't have security applied and can be edited to add form fields.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 01, 2020

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I printed as a PDF and generated a new one. I opened that document and the form fields are gone. I can edit it, but I can't fill in the form fields, so all the formatting for the fields that need to be filled in are gone. I can add my own custom text fields, but that defeats the purpose of having the forms.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 01, 2020

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Yes, I just want to fill in the form.

If I click on the "Edit" button on Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, I get this error message:

adobeerror.PNG

Is there some other mode other than "Edit" that I need to be in to fill in the form? When I click on the fields without changing to edit mode, I just get an error alert "ding".

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Participant ,
Jun 01, 2020

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Hmmmm. I don't get that message. When I click the "Prepare Form" icon I get a dialog asking me to select the file or do a scan. Of course I select the file and that's when I get the security error message telling me "You cannot edit this file as a form due to its security settings.. The file I downloaded is not a fill in form. I could be wrong, and someone else can chime in, but I think you're stuck with what you have. So you know, when I did use the "adobe PDF" printer then opened it, I got the same choice to open it for editing or do a scan. This time, I opened it and Acrobat added most (but not all) of the fill in fields for me. Sorry I couldn't be of any help.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 01, 2020

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Ahh, "Prepare Form" seems to let me fill in the form after I print it as a PDF. This software is really counterintuitive.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 02, 2020

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1. You can't edit this kind of form with Acrobat

2. You don't need to pay for anything to fill the forms in

3. Do NOT try to edit forms, or remove security, or change the design or setup in ANY WAY. Do not print to PDF. Do not use prepare forms. The IRS takes a bad view of thism and forms are automated as they were originally made. At best, your form may be rejected, lost or not seen. At worst, they may consider it fraud or some other crime.

Work with the form you have, don't try to make it anything different.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 02, 2020

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What is the right way to fill in this form?

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 02, 2020

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Since they have not made it fillable, and you cannot make it fillable, you can print it out, write on it, and scan it.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 02, 2020

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Clarification: having downloaded the form I see the IRS grants you specific rights to do things with the black (not red) form. You must not submit it to IRS (they mention a penalty if you do) but there are some specific legal purposes. 

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 02, 2020

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You would need Adobe LiveCycle Designer (now part of the Adobe Experience Manager suite, I believe), but you should NOT try and edit this file. Not only is it probably secured and won't let you edit it even if you had this specialized (and expensive) software, but doing so might actually be an offense and could get you into a lot of legal problems.

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