How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

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tmhudg
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How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by tmhudg » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:56 pm

Hello,

I over contributed to a Roth IRA and they had to return my contributions. As a result I got a 1099-R showing the distribution. When doing my taxes with TaxCut (HR Block), it says I need to attach a statement explaining this distribution to my return. There is no way that I can see to do this when filing electronically and I really don't want to print out and mail my return if I can help it. Any ideas?

I know there is a form - 8453 or something like that - that is used to add attachments but it is related to specific forms - none of which are what I'm doing.

Thanks

tj
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by tj » Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:08 pm

I'm not sure how to do it with H&R, but Turbotax generated it automatically when I imported the 1099-R.

tmhudg
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by tmhudg » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:03 pm

This is maddening. The contribution returned had earnings of $3.20 - that's right three dollars. Because of this, I have to attach a statement. Since there is no way to attach a statement to the e-file, I have to print out 20 pages of my return, plus my state return - plus, my statement saying what - "Hey, you know that 1099-R that we got from Ameriprise that shows a return and earnings of $3.20 and a code that says it was a return of contribution and that I reported on line 15? Yeah, it was."

So now I can't use the e-file that I paid for as part of the tax software and I have to pay for postage and wait longer for the returns to be processed.

I seriously considered just deleting the 1099 and ignoring it. It increased my refund by $1 and allows me to e-file.

Does anyone know - will they ignore this small difference or will audit alarms go off and I'll be brought up before a board? I know it's a relatively small thing to complain about but it just irks me.

Thanks

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tfb
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by tfb » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:17 pm

tmhudg wrote:"Hey, you know that 1099-R that we got from Ameriprise that shows a return and earnings of $3.20 and a code that says it was a return of contribution and that I reported on line 15? Yeah, it was."

I think you have a much bigger problem than this $3 or having to mail some pages of paper.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

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HueyLD
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by HueyLD » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:25 pm

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Last edited by HueyLD on Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dodecahedron
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by dodecahedron » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:26 pm

I don't know about your software, but the professional tax software VITA sites use allows us to upload PDF attachments to our efiles. The IRS can definitely accept PDFs as part of an efile, so I would think that consumer software would have the same capability. I would check with customer support if it is not obvious from the software menu how to do this.

tmhudg
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by tmhudg » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:13 pm

dodecahedron wrote:I don't know about your software, but the professional tax software VITA sites use allows us to upload PDF attachments to our efiles. The IRS can definitely accept PDFs as part of an efile, so I would think that consumer software would have the same capability. I would check with customer support if it is not obvious from the software menu how to do this.


I actually tried to go through the e-file and it specifically said - you can't e-file because you have a returned IRA contribution. I'll see if I can check with the vendor but it looks like it's a no-go.

Yeah, I'm not really serious about deleting the 1099-R. I know the hassle is quite minor compared to an audit. I guess I was just venting for the most part and hoping someone had some way around it.

Bill M
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by Bill M » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:15 pm

I use freefilefillableforms.com. Schedule B Part I has an almost blank page, and a way to enter random text. On the first like I put "This is not additional interest, but (it seems) the only way to attach a statement to my 1040 explaining some of the entries." I'm not sure if IRS likes it, but they haven't complained in any way that I've seen.

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damjam
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by damjam » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:31 pm

Sorry I don't know about your software.
Maybe you should try using Turbo Tax or TaxAct.
AFAIK, both automatically allow for a statement to be attached when there is a 1099-R indicating a rollover or recharacterization.
In TaxAct it is near the end of the process, after all information has been entered. You can e-file with such a statement.

dodecahedron wrote:I don't know about your software, but the professional tax software VITA sites use allows us to upload PDF attachments to our efiles. The IRS can definitely accept PDFs as part of an efile, so I would think that consumer software would have the same capability. I would check with customer support if it is not obvious from the software menu how to do this.

TaxWise (the software used by VITA and AARP TCE sites) also automatically prompts for a statement to be added in this type of case. PDF attachments are for other uses, such as 1099-B with many transactions, or Power of Attorney...

tmhudg
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by tmhudg » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:37 pm

damjam wrote:Sorry I don't know about your software.
Maybe you should try using Turbo Tax or TaxAct.
AFAIK, both automatically allow for a statement to be attached when there is a 1099-R indicating a rollover or recharacterization.
In TaxAct it is near the end of the process, after all information has been entered. You can e-file with such a statement.


Interesting. I used to use TurboTax but dropped them several years back when they had that licensing crackdown. I kind of forget the details but it drove a lot of people away including me. I think they've eased up on it since but I never went back. Most recent reviews seem to favor it very slightly over HRB.

Thanks for the help everyone.

Browser
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by Browser » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:02 pm

I'm curious. Why do people e-file anyway? Can't afford the cost of a stamp?
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damjam
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by damjam » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:06 pm

Browser wrote:I'm curious. Why do people e-file anyway? Can't afford the cost of a stamp?

1. You get very fast feedback as to whether the return was accepted.
2. You get faster refunds, especially if you go for direct deposit.
3. You don't have to go to the post office (if you like to use certified mail for this).

pshonore
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by pshonore » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:08 pm

Probably the biggest reason is somone (the E-Filer) has certified there are no math errors and no inconsistency between forms. The IRS can process your return with minimal checks and get your refund out much quicker. The IRS also saves having to input your return. However some where down the road they will check to make sure you accounted for all the documents they received copies of and to pass reasonability checks.

Browser
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by Browser » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:14 pm

Since I never give the IRS more money than I have to, I don't have refunds to worry about. They have to wait on me. Snail mail is perfect and I like to give the PO some business in hopes they'll be around a little longer.
We don't know where we are, or where we're going -- but we're making good time.

jebmke
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by jebmke » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:17 pm

pshonore wrote:Probably the biggest reason is somone (the E-Filer) has certified there are no math errors and no inconsistency between forms. The IRS can process your return with minimal checks and get your refund out much quicker. The IRS also saves having to input your return. However some where down the road they will check to make sure you accounted for all the documents they received copies of and to pass reasonability checks.

I think it will continue to slow (paper and manual processes). If my memory is correct, when I lived in Belgium there was an extra tax if you filed with paper. Something like 100 euros. Nobody used paper - not even to transfer money.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

soobaerodude
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by soobaerodude » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:20 am

tmhudg wrote:Interesting. I used to use TurboTax but dropped them several years back when they had that licensing crackdown. I kind of forget the details but it drove a lot of people away including me. I think they've eased up on it since but I never went back. Most recent reviews seem to favor it very slightly over HRB.

Thanks for the help everyone.


I am running into this exact issue with H&R Block 2013. What did you end up doing? TurboTax?

tmhudg
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by tmhudg » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:16 pm

soobaerodude wrote:
tmhudg wrote:Interesting. I used to use TurboTax but dropped them several years back when they had that licensing crackdown. I kind of forget the details but it drove a lot of people away including me. I think they've eased up on it since but I never went back. Most recent reviews seem to favor it very slightly over HRB.

Thanks for the help everyone.


I am running into this exact issue with H&R Block 2013. What did you end up doing? TurboTax?


I'm almost ready to pull the trigger and buy TTax. I wanted to confirm that I could indeed submit the statement and e-file and ended up posting the question on an Amazon forum for the product. The Product Manager replied and confirmed that it is supported.

I know some people aren't that hung up on e-filing and would just mail in the return (I'm looking at spending $40 to save $3) but it just burns me that I can't do it because of this small thing.

pshonore
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by pshonore » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:51 pm

One of the major goals in e-filing is to minimize human intervention. What do you think the chances are that a human will read your statement? Probably not good until the "letter" has gone out and even then not until you tell them about it and they find it.

rkhusky
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by rkhusky » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:11 pm

If e-filing is so beneficial, why doesn't the IRS set up a system where everyone can file directly with them for free? I just set up an account on the SS web site and they even offer the ability to have a code sent to your phone before logging in to increase security.

placeholder
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by placeholder » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:50 pm

If I couldn't figure out how I would leave it out because if the IRS really wants to know they'll tell you.

shorvath
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by shorvath » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:56 pm

rkhusky wrote:If e-filing is so beneficial, why doesn't the IRS set up a system where everyone can file directly with them for free? I just set up an account on the SS web site and they even offer the ability to have a code sent to your phone before logging in to increase security.


They have:

https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/
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BL
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by BL » Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:38 pm

tfb wrote:
tmhudg wrote:"Hey, you know that 1099-R that we got from Ameriprise that shows a return and earnings of $3.20 and a code that says it was a return of contribution and that I reported on line 15? Yeah, it was."

I think you have a much bigger problem than this $3 or having to mail some pages of paper.


+1
1099-R that we got from Ameriprise

tmhudg
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by tmhudg » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:16 pm

BL wrote:
tfb wrote:
tmhudg wrote:"Hey, you know that 1099-R that we got from Ameriprise that shows a return and earnings of $3.20 and a code that says it was a return of contribution and that I reported on line 15? Yeah, it was."

I think you have a much bigger problem than this $3 or having to mail some pages of paper.


+1
1099-R that we got from Ameriprise


I'm not sure what you are trying to say here. That my problem is dealing with Ameriprise or something else I've done wrong?

Texas Green
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by Texas Green » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:40 pm

Best double-check if you are thinking about buying TurboTax expecting this capability. On TT's user forum, a TT representative says that you cannot do what you are trying to do (include a pdf with a return e-filed via TT). I have TT Deluxe and I wanted to do the same thing (for a different set of circumstances), and that is the answer that I found.

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/19935 ... -to-e-file

I do not know whether or not one has to log-in to access this or not, but the relevant section of the TT employee's response says:

Unfortunately, TurboTax does not include an option to attach PDF files to federal returns. In this case, you will have to file by mail and print out the PDF to be included in your return.

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BrandonBogle
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by BrandonBogle » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:46 pm

tmhudg wrote:This is maddening. The contribution returned had earnings of $3.20 - that's right three dollars. Because of this, I have to attach a statement. Since there is no way to attach a statement to the e-file, I have to print out 20 pages of my return, plus my state return - plus, my statement saying what - "Hey, you know that 1099-R that we got from Ameriprise that shows a return and earnings of $3.20 and a code that says it was a return of contribution and that I reported on line 15? Yeah, it was."

So now I can't use the e-file that I paid for as part of the tax software and I have to pay for postage and wait longer for the returns to be processed.

I seriously considered just deleting the 1099 and ignoring it. It increased my refund by $1 and allows me to e-file.

Does anyone know - will they ignore this small difference or will audit alarms go off and I'll be brought up before a board? I know it's a relatively small thing to complain about but it just irks me.

Thanks


If it bothers you that much, why not delete the 1099-R, submit the e-file, and next week file an Amendment by mail with the 1099-R and your statement? Then at least you are only sending an abreviated set of documents rather than "20 pages" and a "state tax return".

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wilpat
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by wilpat » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:57 pm

I would submit it without any attachment. If they need it they can ask.
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tmhudg
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by tmhudg » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:00 pm

Texas Green wrote:Best double-check if you are thinking about buying TurboTax expecting this capability. On TT's user forum, a TT representative says that you cannot do what you are trying to do (include a pdf with a return e-filed via TT). I have TT Deluxe and I wanted to do the same thing (for a different set of circumstances), and that is the answer that I found.

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/19935 ... -to-e-file

I do not know whether or not one has to log-in to access this or not, but the relevant section of the TT employee's response says:

Unfortunately, TurboTax does not include an option to attach PDF files to federal returns. In this case, you will have to file by mail and print out the PDF to be included in your return.

I think in this case, TTax doesn't actually need to be able to send a generic PDF. It specifically knows that if you fill out line 15b, you need to "attach a statement explaining the return" and it is able to do that. Here's the reply to this question from the Amazon forum:

We do support pre-determined statements that are attached to particular forms or fields. Here are the statements supported for this particular scenario.

* Form 1040 Line 15a, line 15b IRA distribution statement
* Form 5329 Line 52 Waiver of Tax on excess contribution

It seems an explanation statement attached to Line 15a, 15b of form 1040 will work. I would go to Forms mode in the software version of TurboTax and enter a Supporting Statement for this field.

Bob Meighan, VP TurboTax


So it sounds like this would cover it.

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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by grabiner » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:33 pm

damjam wrote:
Browser wrote:I'm curious. Why do people e-file anyway? Can't afford the cost of a stamp?

1. You get very fast feedback as to whether the return was accepted.
2. You get faster refunds, especially if you go for direct deposit.
3. You don't have to go to the post office (if you like to use certified mail for this).


The IRS can't enter a number wrong on an e-file. (This happened to me once on NJ state taxes, when I didn't get credit for my withholding because the NJ tax bureau entered the number on the estimated tax payment line; my refund was delayed until this got straightened out.)
David Grabiner

rkhusky
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by rkhusky » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:59 pm

shorvath wrote:
rkhusky wrote:If e-filing is so beneficial, why doesn't the IRS set up a system where everyone can file directly with them for free? I just set up an account on the SS web site and they even offer the ability to have a code sent to your phone before logging in to increase security.


They have:

https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/


Are you sure those are going straight to the IRS without an intermediary? I am suspicious of .com sites.

Edit: These statements in the privacy policy make me think it is not the IRS:
We may enter into contracts with third parties who assist in providing the Services. We share your tax return information with those third parties only to the extent necessary for them to provide the Services.

As part of the tax filing process, the IRS requires that we request the e-mail address of the person electronically filing a tax return and, if an email address is collected, provide it to the IRS.

shorvath
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Re: How do I attach a statement when filing electronically?

Post by shorvath » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:07 pm

rkhusky wrote:
shorvath wrote:
rkhusky wrote:If e-filing is so beneficial, why doesn't the IRS set up a system where everyone can file directly with them for free? I just set up an account on the SS web site and they even offer the ability to have a code sent to your phone before logging in to increase security.


They have:

https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/


Are you sure those are going straight to the IRS without an intermediary? I am suspicious of .com sites.

Edit: These statements in the privacy policy make me think it is not the IRS:
We may enter into contracts with third parties who assist in providing the Services. We share your tax return information with those third parties only to the extent necessary for them to provide the Services.

As part of the tax filing process, the IRS requires that we request the e-mail address of the person electronically filing a tax return and, if an email address is collected, provide it to the IRS.


That is the free filing site according to the IRS

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Yo ... s-for-Free

The IRS has essentially contracted out e-filing services to the major tax prep companies. I doubt they will ever let taxpayers have direct access to their systems.
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