Filing paper stubs with by-mail tax return - why?

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dmcmahon
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Filing paper stubs with by-mail tax return - why?

Post by dmcmahon » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:07 am

Does anyone know why, out of the bazillion tax-related documents we get, the IRS and state require you to send in tear-off stubs from your W2? And why this also includes pension payments from the OPM?
Last edited by dmcmahon on Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sscritic
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Re: Filing paper stubs with by-mail tax return - why?

Post by sscritic » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:13 am

I have never mailed in torn off stubs from my paycheck. For quite a while my "paycheck" has been an electronic deposit into my checking account. There is no check, there is no stub, there is nothing to tear off.

I don't think your question is really about tearing stubs off paychecks. Can you clarify?

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damjam
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Re: Filing paper stubs with by-mail tax return - why?

Post by damjam » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:18 am

Are you talking about W2s and 1099-Rs?
If you are, I have no idea why they are required, but I know they are.
Seems silly considering the IRS should already have this information. At least they should have it by February.

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dmcmahon
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Re: Filing paper stubs with by-mail tax return - why?

Post by dmcmahon » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:08 pm

sscritic wrote:I have never mailed in torn off stubs from my paycheck. For quite a while my "paycheck" has been an electronic deposit into my checking account. There is no check, there is no stub, there is nothing to tear off.

I don't think your question is really about tearing stubs off paychecks. Can you clarify?


Sorry yes I meant the W2 and the 1099R (the end-of-tax-year documents you use to fill out your tax form). I've edited my post to correct theses mistakes.

I ask because mailing in the stubs seems archaic and it's becoming a nuisance for my aging mother, who still prefers to file by mail. (I avoid the issue by efiling, though in principle I'd have to send in W2 stubs if I filed by mail, for reasons that aren't clear.)

sscritic
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Re: Filing paper stubs with by-mail tax return - why?

Post by sscritic » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:17 pm

I think these things will go away, but it might take a while.

Here is an example of the disconnect:
I efile my federal return and mail my CA paper return.

I tell my tax software I want to mail my return, so that it prints properly. I print my federal return because I have to mail it with my state return, and I print my state return because I want to mail it.

The instructions given by the tax software for mailing the CA return do not say to attach copies of my 1099-Rs with CA withholding (no more W-2s for me), but the instruction booklet from CA says I should. In the end I did.

But what did this tell me? Perhaps the tax software is right that CA doesn't really want the state copy of the 1099-R. Now, this might not be applicable to other states, but the CA return printed by tax software does not match the printed form you get from the FTB. The principal difference is that the form printed by the tax software has, at the top, line numbers and the corresponding entries. I presume this is all scanned so that they don't have to look at the rest of your return. Somewhere in there must be the withholding numbers that they are willing to believe without the copy of the 1099-R. Or so I think.

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