Navigate Up
Sign In
Last Updated: 8/2/2017

​Substitute form design specifications

It is your responsibility to ensure your software programs only print substitute forms that have been approved.

Note: We updated our forms for 2017 to match the unified State of Minnesota logo and branding. Please read the updated technical specifications below to make sure your software product accurately reproducing our forms. 

Forms and schedules

  • Exact placement of text and data lines is required.

Substitute Form Identification Number barcode

Beginning with 2017 forms, we are adding a linear (1D) barcode to our forms to encode the Substitute Form ID. This barcode uses the Code 39 standard.

Barcode parameters

  • Contains 6 characters plus leading and trailing asterisks (for example, *123456*).

  • Place form ID barcode as shown on the original form.
    • From top to bottom: starting at grid line 3 and ending at roughly grid line 6
    • From left to right: starting at grid line 65 and ending at roughly grid line 76

Minnesota Department of Revenue logo

Place the department logo on all forms, as shown on original forms. Logos are available on our website under the Software Providers Forms, ERCs, and Specifications tab.

Software Identification Number

Place your Revenue assigned four digit Software ID number on the bottom-center of each page submitted for approval and processing (see grid samples on the Forms, ERCs, and Specifications tab).

Registration marks

Include registration marks in the upper-right and lower corners on forms submitted for approval. Specific measurements include:

  • Line thickness: Use 3 point
  • Leg length: Each leg must be 0.25 inches long
  • Upper-right corner: The outside of the vertical leg is 0.5 inch from the right edge of the paper and the outside of the horizontal leg is 0.5 inch from the top edge
  • Lower-right corner: The outside of the vertical leg is 0.5 inch from the right edge of the paper and the outside of the horizontal leg is 0.5 inch from the bottom edge
  • Lower-left corner: The outside of the vertical leg is 0.5 inch from the left edge of the paper and the outside of the horizontal leg is 0.5 inch from the bottom edge
  • The measurement from the outside edge of the top registration mark to the bottom edge of the lower registration mark is 10 inches, and left to right is 7.5 inches

Form text design

  • Portrait page orientation
  • Six lines per vertical inch (LPI)
  • Three picas (0.5 inch) margin on all sides
  • Font
    • Demographics section: Calibri, 8 point
    • Form section: Calibri, 9 point
  • Do not use shading, unless it is included on the original form

Variable data format

  • Font
    • Courier, 12 point
    • Uppercase only
  • Do not use dashes or spaces in Social Security numbersuse nine digits only
  • Do not use dashes, slashes, or spaces to separate the month, day, and year in date fieldsuse eight digits only (for example, 01051950 for January 5, 1950)
  • You may use slashes in address fields (for example, 134 1/2 Street)
  • Checkbox fields
    • “X” in Courier, 12 point
  • Do not use leading dollar signs or commas in dollar amounts
  • Round all dollar amounts to the nearest whole dollardo not include cents
  • Leave zero amount fields blank

Legibility and printing

All forms and data must have a high standard for printing. We will reject all forms with low quality.

Your software must set the PDF Viewer Preference PrintScaling to None.

For additional information to set print scaling, refer to Viewer Preferences of Adobe's PDF Reference Viewer.

Voucher specifications

All vouchers must follow our 2017 Voucher Specifications:

Your software must include the Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) on the payment voucher when a PTIN is entered on the return.