We are currently experiencing unusually high volumes of support requests. Response times may be delayed. ×

OCR Tips and Tricks

What exactly is OCR?
Optical character recognition (aka OCR) scans an image, document, or printed text and directly imports the data into your tax return. This can help save you some time during the tax filing process.

Sweet! How do I use it?
You can take a picture of the W-2 using your cell phone camera or you can upload the document through your computer. We currently accept the following files: pdf, jpeg, png, and tiff. If you upload a document that isn’t one of the the acceptable files, the OCR won’t be able to read your W-2.

I have problems uploading my W-2 through my phone. Is it because my phone is an older model?
Older model phones may not have as high specs compared to new phones. Here’s some quick tips to improve the success rate of OCR:

  • Aim to minimize glare and shadows
  • Angle the phone to incorporate as much of the W-2 as possible
  • Take the picture on a flat surface

I followed your tips, but I still can’t get OCR to read my W-2. What went wrong?
Currently, OCR can read common versions of W-2s provided by the IRS or approved substitute versions of the form such as those provided by ADP. Visit the IRS website to see what your W-2 form should look.

I tried taking a picture of my W-2 multiple times already but Credit Karma Tax is preventing me from trying again!
As much as we appreciate your enthusiasm, we had to make a cap for this process. If it still doesn’t work after 3 tries, you’ll need to manually enter in the values for your W-2.

Some of the information on my W-2 wasn’t carried over or isn’t completely accurate. Should I just leave it as is?
Always double-check all values before continuing to the next page. OCR is only used to transfer information over for your convenience, but if you spotted a mistake when using OCR, make edits on the W-2 screen to accurately reflect the information on your tax return.

Will OCR be offered to other forms too? I would love to import my 1099-B and 1099-K too.
We don’t offer OCR for other forms at this time, but we may consider offering it in the future.

Can I opt to manually enter the W-2 information instead of uploading the document?
Yes! While we recommend members to try out OCR, Credit Karma Tax offers the option to manually enter in all your W-2 information.

Still have questions? Contact member support

Continue your tax filing

Was this article helpful?