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Intuit

Receiving an "Invalid character in free format area" error when trying to EFILE a T1 return

Description

When trying to EFILE a T1 return, an "invalid character in free format area" error appears

Invalid character in free format area

There will be a 5 digit code associated with this message. The last 4 digits is the line # with invalid character. To jump to associated line, Goto Form Explorer > Select Line > type in the last 4 digit from the error > Press enter. 

In most cases this error is due to:

1. A negative amount on a line where it should be positive amount. (if the box must have negative amount, return needs to be paper filed.)

2. An incorrect Tax shelter identification number on form T2125.

3. Entering invalid characters,  %)$@(#&*,  into a free format area (such as Taxpayer personal information in the Personal Information page).

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