Hack my Minnesota PDF tax form?
February 26, 2010 10:59 AM   Subscribe

2009 online PDF tax forms for the State of Minnesota only let you print, not save, once you have filled them in. Is there a work around so I can retain an electronic record of my taxes?

These are fill-in PDF files. In the past one could fill them in, and then save the PDF retaining the personal information, making a convenient electronic record. This year, the Minnesota Revenue department explicitly states, without explanation, that "your filled-in forms can no longer be saved."

Is there a work-around? I really don't want the absurdity of printing the darn thing out and scanning it back in to acrobat, nor do I want to have to complete the form all in one session.
posted by werkzeuger to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
OSX has a built-in PDF printer. There's probably a whole bunch out there for Windows, too.
posted by xmutex at 11:00 AM on February 26, 2010

Best answer: Assuming you're running Windows, just install CutePDF. Print the filled-in PDF to another PDF. Done.
posted by deadmessenger at 11:01 AM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: To clarify - this is a PDF I will print out and snail mail back to the state, not submit electronically.
posted by werkzeuger at 11:01 AM on February 26, 2010

Best answer: Right. So print it to PDF as suggested above. When you "print" to PDF using the means above you're actually saving a copy of the file. You aren't printing to a physical printer, you're printing "to a file".
posted by dave*p at 11:03 AM on February 26, 2010

Response by poster: thanks deadmessenger, are you referring to the freeware or "pro" version of that software?
posted by werkzeuger at 11:04 AM on February 26, 2010

The freeware version will work fine.
posted by ifranzen at 11:08 AM on February 26, 2010

Response by poster: Got it. Thanks everybody.
posted by werkzeuger at 11:09 AM on February 26, 2010

Best answer: I know you already appear to have found a good solution, but I've found that the free FoxIt Reader saves fill-in data, even where Adobe's counterpart will not.
posted by mysterpigg at 11:31 AM on February 26, 2010

Be aware that if you print the form using CutePDF or one of the many similar programs out there, the resulting file will have the information you typed in but will not itself be editable.
posted by teraflop at 11:44 AM on February 26, 2010

Here's an open source solution for windows as well: http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/.
posted by cdmwebs at 11:50 AM on February 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

This is a slightly irrelevant question, but does anyone know why they have put a restriction on saving the PDF? It seems fairly fundamental that a taxpayer should be allowed/encouraged to keep a record of their own information?
posted by Enki at 1:20 PM on February 26, 2010

I'm not justifying it, but the general explanation is that they do not want people passing around surreptitiously modified PDFs as the original.

Lots of employers do their with employment applications as well. It is infuriating in that case because there's no authentic risk of fake documents being passed around.
posted by rr at 7:52 PM on February 26, 2010

Response by poster: Enki, I wondered that myself and was pretty annoyed. The "print-to-PDF" fixes above let me at least have a record on my PC, but yes, what I really wanted was the ability to save it with the fill-in fields intact. So thanks also to mysterpigg, I'll be looking into the Fox product.
posted by werkzeuger at 6:11 AM on February 27, 2010

Got an email back when I asked their webmaster why,

The Department of Revenue regrets it can no longer provide fill-able PDF forms on its website that can be saved locally to taxpayers’ computers.

Going forward, the software agreement requires that we pay a substantial amount per form each year to provide this function. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to provide this service at this time.

Thank you for using our website.

Lynn Andrews

Minnesota Department of Revenue

posted by nomisxid at 9:03 AM on March 4, 2010

« Older Can I show one Wordpress Blog under multiple...   |   This must exist already, no? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.