How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

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Random Poster
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How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by Random Poster » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:49 am

Simple question really:

If you don't have access to a computer (and, presumably, a printer), how do you prepare and file your taxes?

When I was a kid (and well before the internet existed in its present form), I remember my mother going to the library or the post office and getting the necessary tax forms and instruction books. But when I go to the post office and library now, I don't see any tax forms available, and the IRS certainly doesn't mail a 1040 book (with the 1040 form and a Schedule A, B, and so on included) out these days. And, even then, I don't recall seeing any of the more exotic or unique tax forms (say, the Foreign Tax Credit form).

So how do people without internet/computer access obtain their tax forms?

[ETA: I ask because I've been downloading my tax forms through the IRS website and printing them off via my work computer and printer, but if and when I leave my job, I need to figure out how to do my taxes for next year, and I'm not interested in buying a computer and printer just to satisfy my obligation to the IRS.]

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by bob60014 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:52 am

Our library has the forms and computers.
Or
https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/forms-an ... by-us-mail

livesoft
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by livesoft » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:55 am

Yes, our library has the forms and computers, too.

And are you serious that you do not have a computer at home that does not belong to your employer? No problem: You just file your tax return on your phone like Millennials do.

And if you ask, "How do people without computers and phones file their taxes?" I can answer that, too: They don't file taxes because they don't owe any taxes and have no refund coming to them either.
Last edited by livesoft on Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by Katietsu » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:58 am

You can call 800-TAX-FORM and have any form mailed to you. There is no charge for this service. Libraries sometimes have a binder of forms and you can make a copy for yourself. Alternatively, you may access the forms online at the library and print to the library’s printer. These two latter options could involve a fee.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by Lynette » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:08 am

I got mine yesterday. I called some time in December and was told that there would be a delay. I was planning to do mine manually to learn how to do them before I gave them to my accountant! I got the 1040 as well as instructions on how to do them.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by flamesabers » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:21 am

Do you have family members or friends who would let you use their computer/printer to do your taxes?

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by Random Poster » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:24 am

Katietsu wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:58 am
You can call 800-TAX-FORM and have any form mailed to you. There is no charge for this service.
I presume that this requires you to know, in advance, what specific forms you will need.

But if you discover, midway through preparing your taxes, that you need another form, do you have any idea on how long it takes for the IRS to mail out the newly needed form to you?

I'm wondering if one should just initially request the "Extension to File Tax Return" form just in case....

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by gd » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:38 am

There's an order form near the end of 1040 instructions, page 102 on 2017. 10 days after they get order. Pre-internet, I'd do this overseas and tried to order the basic stuff ASAP, anticipating there'd be something else I might need. The pubs and forms I needed tended not to change year by year, unless my circumstances changed. I expect you can send in a copy of last year's order form, if you don't even have i1040.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by Jags4186 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:49 am

They go to H&R Block or a tax preparer.

Show me a person without the need and means for some sort of internet device and I show you a person without the need or the ability to do their taxes.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by The Wizard » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:54 am

A lot of people, even those with relatively simple returns, go to a commercial service such as H&R Block to have their taxes done.
Perhaps that method would be in your future...
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:57 am

Random Poster wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:49 am

[ETA: I ask because I've been downloading my tax forms through the IRS website and printing them off via my work computer and printer, but if and when I leave my job, I need to figure out how to do my taxes for next year, and I'm not interested in buying a computer and printer just to satisfy my obligation to the IRS.]
How do you plan to post on this site without a computer? Perhaps an iPad or other tablet? I think TurboTax and similar apps are available to you then. Or you could presumably use the browser interface of TurboTax Online.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:59 am

flamesabers wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:21 am
Do you have family members or friends who would let you use their computer/printer to do your taxes?
My library has both.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by dodecahedron » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:05 am

livesoft wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:55 am
And if you ask, "How do people without computers and phones file their taxes?" I can answer that, too: They don't file taxes because they don't owe any taxes and have no refund coming to them either.
You are seriously out of touch with reality if you think that, livesoft. VITA sites like ours serve many low income clients who do not have computers or smartphones capable of filing taxes. Some of them owe taxes and others get refunds. VITA sites have income limits of $54K but AARP sites offer similar services without an income limit.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by The Wizard » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:07 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:49 am
They go to H&R Block or a tax preparer.

Show me a person without the need and means for some sort of internet device and I show you a person without the need or the ability to do their taxes.
Yeah, I suspect that's largely true.
And while I'm writing this reply on my smartphone, I'd have to say it would be Really Tedious to do my income taxes on my smartphone.(*)
I use FreeTaxUSA on my desktop PC and am quite pleased with that.

* - I suppose it's possible that some full range income tax preparation software has been optimized for use on 4.5" smartphone screens, but I'm neither aware of it nor interested in it...
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by HueyLD » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:08 am

Random poster,

Are you overseas?

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by livesoft » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:15 am

dodecahedron wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:05 am
livesoft wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:55 am
And if you ask, "How do people without computers and phones file their taxes?" I can answer that, too: They don't file taxes because they don't owe any taxes and have no refund coming to them either.
You are seriously out of touch with reality if you think that, livesoft. VITA sites like ours serve many low income clients who do not have computers or smartphones capable of filing taxes. Some of them owe taxes and others get refunds. VITA sites have income limits of $54K but AARP sites offer similar services without an income limit.
OK, I was partly writing tongue-in-cheek. I see lots of people sitting in the front of Walmart having their taxes done by JacksonHewitt (I think that is who gets to floor space). But VITA and other free sites do not see all the low income people that do not bother to file taxes.
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by randomizer » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:24 am

I have a computer, but I have an accountant that files my taxes. I prefer not to get my hands dirty with that stuff. (Sure, sure, I do email him, and I do end up downloading/forwarding tax forms to him electronically.)
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teen persuasion
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by teen persuasion » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:27 am

Library staffer here - I've been fighting with federal and especially state agencies trying to get appropriate forms for our patrons. The forms are STILL trickling in a few at a time, and in limited quantities. Of course, the few federal forms we have (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, and booklets for each) were printed before the latest changes, so I was informed by email that they may be incorrect, and we will not be getting replacement forms. We can look up and print any form available on IRS.gov, but we do not have the funding to do this for free, so patrons must pay printing charges for forms that were previously provided before IRS funding was cut. The change in forms sent by federal and state governments is dramatic, vs say 3 years ago, as is the delay in getting forms. The state has cut back our supply of instruction booklets to 5! Ridiculous.

I have assisted patrons in ordering forms online, to be sent to their homes, or have given them the phone number for state form access. I put links to the state and federal order pages on all our public computers and on our website and social media, to assist patrons as much as possible in getting the forms they need. When the IRS cut back forms sent unexpectedly a few years ago, I tried ordering them myself, to see if that was a viable option. That year, at least, it took a long time to get certain forms, and I ordered them immediately in January. I encourage everyone to order early; waiting until April will be too late

Patrons do use library computers to efile online. I try to make sure they use care with sensitive information, and suggest they reboot before/afterwards so our security software restores the computer to previous state.

My parents have no computers/internet by choice - at least one of my siblings assist them in filing using our computers.

I believe most people file online or go thru a tax prep firm.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by dodecahedron » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:33 am

livesoft wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:15 am

OK, I was partly writing tongue-in-cheek. I see lots of people sitting in the front of Walmart having their taxes done by JacksonHewitt (I think that is who gets to floor space). But VITA and other free sites do not see all the low income people that do not bother to file taxes.
There are indeed many low income people who do not bother to file taxes, but not necessarily because they don't owe taxes or get refunds. Due to refundable credits and ACA issues and withholding and self-employment taxes, it is rare for anyone's taxes to come out exactly even to zero with neither a balance due nor a refund.*

We often get reluctant delinquent longtime nonfilers dragged in by family members or induced to come in after getting nasty IRS notices after years of nonfiling. They are often pleasantly surprised that when we file their back tax returns, they are actually due a refund (despite nastygram from IRS asserting they have a balance due.)

IRS makes worse-case assumptions in their nastygrams to nonfilers, often asserting a balance due when in fact a refund is due.

(* The major exceptions to this generalization are senior citizens. A large number of low income seniors living primarily on SS benefits have zero refund/zero balance due because they generally don't get refundable credits, Medicare deals with their ACA coverage issues, and nontaxability of their SS due to low AGI means they often have gross income below filing threshholds. The same can be true of some younger folks on disability who are unable to work and some young teens or college students who filed a W-4 claiming exempt from withholding.

But almost everyone who is working and between 24 and 65 is either getting a refund or has a balance due. The probability of wage withholding and our elaborate system of tax credits working out exactly to zero is vanishingly small.)
Last edited by dodecahedron on Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:35 am

bob60014 wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:52 am
Our library has the forms and computers.
Or
https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/forms-an ... by-us-mail
<irony>
I can't help but wonder how much good a link to the IRS web site would do if, as postulated by the OP, one doesn't have access to computers.

:wink:
</irony>
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by miamivice » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:36 am

I'm sure some folks do their taxes using TurboTax on library computers. You have a distinct lack of privacy doing taxes in a library setting but I'm sure some folks do it.

Some libraries will check out laptops to you for use in the library. You could check out one and do your taxes in a corner of the room using TurboTax online.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by Random Poster » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:51 am

TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:57 am
How do you plan to post on this site without a computer? Perhaps an iPad or other tablet? I think TurboTax and similar apps are available to you then. Or you could presumably use the browser interface of TurboTax Online.
Likely by using an iPad, but reading (and occasionally posting) on a forum isn't quite the same as preparing one's taxes (which I like to do by hand using paper forms) and then filing them (which I like to do by sending them off via the post office) and then keeping a copy of the filed returns (which I like to do by having a paper copy in my file cabinet).

In any event, I'm guessing that the 800-Tax-Form route is the likely way to go in the future, and possibly just automatically filing for an extension to be sure that I end up with all of the necessary forms.
HueyLD wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:08 am
Random poster,

Are you overseas?
Not currently, but who knows where I'll be in the future.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:07 pm

miamivice wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:36 am
I'm sure some folks do their taxes using TurboTax on library computers. You have a distinct lack of privacy doing taxes in a library setting but I'm sure some folks do it.

Some libraries will check out laptops to you for use in the library. You could check out one and do your taxes in a corner of the room using TurboTax online.
No privacy needed to download the tax forms and then print them to take home if the OP likes doing stuff on paper anyway.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by czeckers » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:20 pm

Random Poster wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:24 am
Katietsu wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:58 am
You can call 800-TAX-FORM and have any form mailed to you. There is no charge for this service.
I presume that this requires you to know, in advance, what specific forms you will need.

But if you discover, midway through preparing your taxes, that you need another form, do you have any idea on how long it takes for the IRS to mail out the newly needed form to you?

I'm wondering if one should just initially request the "Extension to File Tax Return" form just in case....
You have from Jan 1 until 4/15, that's 3 1/2 months to do your taxes. If this is a concern, one can start early. Also, unless you're young and just starting out, if you've been doing your taxes all along, you should have a pretty good idea of what forms you need by now. I have done my taxes 28 times now.

It is an interesting point you bring up however. When most people have some access to the internet via phone or computer, the non-electronic infrastructure is slowly eroding away.
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by dratkinson » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:31 pm

I have wondered the same thing. If health insurance is mandatory and reportable on our taxes, how do homeless folks handle tax reporting?


I received the tax forms I ordered by library PC. But don't really like the pencil/paper method.


I checked with library staff and learned some people do use them to do their taxes online. They made the same comment about rebooting before/after a tax session.

Library staffer said laptops connect by WiFi (no hard connection).
--I recall a recent topic about a new WiFi vulnerability, so any laptop used in the corner of the library would have that additional risk.
--Another recent topic about VPN (virtual private network) didn't seem to offer a quick solution.


Searched and found where AARP and VITA set up this year. They want to do everything in one session. I've always preferred to do a draft return using the tax software, and then let it sit a few days before doing a final review with fresh eyes against the paper forms/instructions. With their workload, got the impression requesting two sessions would be frowned upon.

Interesting comment from AARP representative. Said the US is behind other countries in tax collection and reporting. Seems other countries have the process more automated (system is simpler? enough tax is withheld on all transactions? ...) to the point where individual tax reporting is not necessary.



Disclosure. My old PC works on the BH forum, but not with the new online tax software. Would be easy enough to email my draft tax return from the library for printing at home.
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by mnnice » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:55 pm

There are people in this country running businesses grossing in the high six figures and netting in six figures too with no computers or smartphones.

The ones I know have complicated returns that they should tackle themselves anyway.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by dodecahedron » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:05 pm

dratkinson wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:31 pm
I have wondered the same thing. If health insurance is mandatory and reportable on our taxes, how do homeless folks handle tax reporting?
People whose income is below the filing requirement qualify for an exemption to the Individual Shared Responsibility Payments that could otherwise apply if they do not have minimum essential coverage (MEC).

Many homeless folks work and if so, most would be eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit, and possibly other refundable credits as well, even if they do not have a filing requirement. If they choose to file a tax return to claim refundable credits and/or excess withholding, they would include a Form 8965 to claim exemption from the penalty for failure to have MEC.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by The Wizard » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:37 pm

mnnice wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:55 pm
There are people in this country running businesses grossing in the high six figures and netting in six figures too with no computers or smartphones...
I find this hard to believe in 2018.
Do you have a verifiable list of these people?
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by englishgirl » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:44 pm

If you have a smart phone, you can do it on there. I just searched, and Turbo Tax has an app. I would use that if I didn't have a laptop. My laptop, incidentally, is a Chromebook that cost me $220 a bit over 3 years ago and is still going strong, so it's not as if you HAVE to buy an expensive computer. I do not use a printer at home, as Turbo Tax stores all my forms online for me.

For people without the means to obtain a smart phone or computer, there are free tax filing services for low income folks, as already mentioned. My husband volunteered at VITA a few years ago doing tax prep for people.
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by head gamez » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:02 pm

livesoft wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:55 am

And are you serious that you do not have a computer at home that does not belong to your employer?
Not too hard to believe. Up until Christmas 2017, we didn’t have a working computer or printer at home that wasn’t employer owned. We broke down and bought Chrome Book for my 6th grader because most of his homework is online. Still no personal smart phones at home.

If flip phones are still available in 20 years, that’s what I’ll have when I step away....

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by sawhorse » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:35 pm

Up until a few years ago I did all my taxes by hand, handwriting the forms. I could still do that if pressed. I switched to computer only because H&R Block interacts with online brokerage and bank accounts to download your transactions and dividends into the program.

I'm fairly certain my parents still do theirs by hand. Their local library has the forms.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by One Ping » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:50 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:33 am
... A large number of low income seniors living primarily on SS benefits have zero refund/zero balance due because they generally don't get refundable credits, Medicare deals with their ACA coverage issues, and nontaxability of their SS due to low AGI means they often have gross income below filing threshholds.
Dodec,

We have friends (an elderly couple) who fit this situation and have been filling for years ... no tax withheld ... no (net) taxable income ... no tax due ... but they still file a return.

I interpret what you say above that no income tax return need be filled at all? Right?

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by dodecahedron » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:35 pm

One Ping wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:50 pm
dodecahedron wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:33 am
... A large number of low income seniors living primarily on SS benefits have zero refund/zero balance due because they generally don't get refundable credits, Medicare deals with their ACA coverage issues, and nontaxability of their SS due to low AGI means they often have gross income below filing threshholds.
Dodec,

We have friends (an elderly couple) who fit this situation and have been filling for years ... no tax withheld ... no (net) taxable income ... no tax due ... but they still file a return.

I interpret what you say above that no income tax return need be filled at all? Right?

One ping
That is correct. A large proportion of seniors have very little income other than SS benefits and therefore have no filing requirement because their SS is not gross income under those circumstances.

However, we see a number of seniors with no filing requirement at our VITA site because they are still (unnecessarily) withholding taxes from their SS benefits or small pensions. They are not legally required to file, but need to file in order to get their withholding back. (And all year long, they are meticulously saving and organizing their charitable donation receipts and Medicare copay receipts, even though the standard deduction is more than enough to secure a total refund of all taxes withheld.)

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by ReadyOrNot » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:38 pm

It wouldn't be hard to do taxes by hand as was common only a few years ago. The time is a little more compressed now, but time extensions are more common now. The IRS used to send out a packet with the forms you used the previous year, at the end of the year. (Now forms aren't revised or available before the end of January.) After doing a quick review and comparison with the previous year's forms, you could order additional forms and publications and still have a couple of months to do the taxes. Now you can still do the same thing, with only about a month to do your taxes.
The practical alternative of using a computer at the library is pretty good at the urban libraries in the areas I have lived in.
Using a smart phone is fine, if you get a magnifying glass (needed for most people over 40 who don't wear glasses that I know).
Anyone can use Free File Fillable Forms for the federal tax forms -- it provides practically all the forms you need, but it is inconvenient to use various tax worksheets in the instructions that you need to use. You really need a separate spreadsheet or hard copy to work out the worksheets.
I also found that when my employer provided the computer needed for my work, I never needed my own home computer. But once you leave your employer, just buy the cheapest Chromebook or Windows or Android notebook or tablet with keyboard for what you need.
And the requirements and recommendations for filing are not the same as not having to pay any tax.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by One Ping » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:54 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:35 pm
One Ping wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:50 pm
dodecahedron wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:33 am
... A large number of low income seniors living primarily on SS benefits have zero refund/zero balance due because they generally don't get refundable credits, Medicare deals with their ACA coverage issues, and nontaxability of their SS due to low AGI means they often have gross income below filing threshholds.
Dodec,

We have friends (an elderly couple) who fit this situation and have been filling for years ... no tax withheld ... no (net) taxable income ... no tax due ... but they still file a return.

I interpret what you say above that no income tax return need be filled at all? Right?

One ping
That is correct. A large proportion of seniors have very little income other than SS benefits and therefore have no filing requirement because their SS is not gross income under those circumstances.

However, we see a number of seniors with no filing requirement at our VITA site because they are still (unnecessarily) withholding taxes from their SS benefits or small pensions. They are not legally required to file, but need to file in order to get their withholding back. (And all year long, they are meticulously saving and organizing their charitable donation receipts and Medicare copay receipts, even though the standard deduction is more than enough to secure a total refund of all taxes withheld.)
Yep. This is exactly their situation. He was having taxes withheld from an IRA annuity payment (don't ask :( ) and then getting it all back as a refund. :oops: We've fixed that this year.

Also they are taking their final distributions and closing their small IRA's this year (<$10K total, all in cash :( ). AGI for this year should be ~$12K and taxable income should be $0. So, if I understand you correctly, even though they are taking IRA distributions this year (2018), they should not have to file federal income tax for 2018, right?
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by dodecahedron » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:11 pm

One Ping wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:54 pm
Dodec,

We have friends (an elderly couple) who fit this situation and have been filling for years ... no tax withheld ... no (net) taxable income ... no tax due ... but they still file a return.

Also they are taking their final distributions and closing their small IRA's this year (<$10K total, all in cash :( ). AGI for this year should be ~$12K and taxable income should be $0. So, if I understand you correctly, even though they are taking IRA distributions this year (2018), they should not have to file federal income tax for 2018, right?
That is correct. A senior citizen (age 65 by Jan 1, 2019) with gross income of $12K will have no tax filing requirement for tax year 2018. Standard deduction for a single taxpayer 65 and up will be $13,600.

(Note that this is based on the type of income you describe, i.e., IRA distributions and similar typical senior citizen. A senior citizen with self-employment income--e.g., driving for Uber--could have a filing requirement with as little as $400 in self-employment income. A senior citizen who received Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTC) could have a filing requirement, because they need to reconcile their actual income with the income predicted at the time they signed up for an ACA policy. Most seniors are on Medicare and therefore not eligible for APTC credits, but someone who turned 65 during the year might have gotten ACA credits in the first part of the year.)

mnnice
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by mnnice » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:25 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:37 pm
mnnice wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:55 pm
There are people in this country running businesses grossing in the high six figures and netting in six figures too with no computers or smartphones...
I find this hard to believe in 2018.
Do you have a verifiable list of these people?
Farmers and ranchers. The average farmer in this country is pushing 60. If you where male and attended high school in the 1950s or 1960’s you might not have ever been formally taught to keyboard.

sambb
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by sambb » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:34 pm

you can use a smartphone, or buy a computer. no big deal.
Most farmers have a computer, needed for lots of things to sell and regulatory issues

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by littlebird » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:43 pm

I have a neighbor with substantial assets and complex, un-bogleheadish investments, who doesn't have a computer. He's well-read, intelligent and resourceful and has been doing his taxes by hand for about 65 years. By now he knows what forms he needs and sends for them. If he can't complete in time because he lacks a form, he applies for an extension.

Since I'm a few years younger, I've only been doing my taxes by hand for 59 years. I do have computers, so I can print out the forms I need. I've offered to print out anything my neighbor needs also, but after the first year, he hasn't needed that help. I find doing taxes by hand, simple, fast and satisfying. I file by placing forms in envelope, sealing, stamping and dropping in the big blue box outside my P.O. :happy

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by bayview » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:49 pm

My retired husband does volunteer tax preparation through a local agency that uses VITA.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

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dodecahedron
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by dodecahedron » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:27 am

littlebird wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:43 pm
I have a neighbor with substantial assets and complex, un-bogleheadish investments, who doesn't have a computer. He's well-read, intelligent and resourceful and has been doing his taxes by hand for about 65 years. By now he knows what forms he needs and sends for them. If he can't complete in time because he lacks a form, he applies for an extension.

Since I'm a few years younger, I've only been doing my taxes by hand for 59 years. I do have computers, so I can print out the forms I need. I've offered to print out anything my neighbor needs also, but after the first year, he hasn't needed that help. I find doing taxes by hand, simple, fast and satisfying. I file by placing forms in envelope, sealing, stamping and dropping in the big blue box outside my P.O. :happy
We had someone like you come into our VITA site this year. She has done her taxes on paper for many years and mailed them in the past. This year she again did them on paper but decided to come into our VITA site to have her taxes efiled. She was happy to hear that we got the same results she did.

Once upon a time, I did my taxes by hand (like everyone else at the time, since there was no software.) I find that experience gave me a stronger feel for what is going on with taxes than a lot of the younger VITA volunteers at other sites who have never used anything but software.

I personally require my students to do a few simple training practice returns entirely on paper before I show them the software. Even with real taxpayers, I also have them fill out a paper Schedule A or Schedule C during the initial interview stage before they sit down at the computer to enter the data.

That said, my patience with tedious IRS forms is limited. I hate the convoluted way that some of the worksheets lead you around without disclosing the relatively simple underlying formula they are trying to get you to implement. (An amusing parody of this process: If the IRS had discovered the quadratic formula)

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by furwut » Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:22 am

I just completed mine using the Turbo Tax web version on an iPad Pro. No difficulty encountered. I saved the return to the cloud.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by obafgkm » Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:40 am

flamesabers wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:21 am
Do you have family members or friends who would let you use their computer/printer to do your taxes?
TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:59 am
My library has both.
Your library has your family members and friends? :confused :P

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obafgkm
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by obafgkm » Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:41 am

dodecahedron wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:27 am
That said, my patience with tedious IRS forms is limited. I hate the convoluted way that some of the worksheets lead you around without disclosing the relatively simple underlying formula they are trying to get you to implement. (An amusing parody of this process: If the IRS had discovered the quadratic formula)
Hilarious! :D

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by McGilicutty » Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:51 am

Our local Senior Center has a group of volunteers who helps people file their taxes. Each volunteer has a computer with a tax program on it and all you need to do is bring in your 1099s, W-2s, etc. There is no charge for this service and it is sponsored by the AARP, so there may be a service like this in your town.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by mouses » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:20 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:49 am
Show me a person without the need and means for some sort of internet device and I show you a person without the need or the ability to do their taxes.
That's really quite wrong. One of my pet peeves (of which there are many :-) is the belief some people have that everyone wants to be dragged into the electronic age despite their kicking and screaming.

A corollary to this is websites being redesigned so they only are really usable from smart phones, not pcs or laptops.

That said, OP, my library has computers for use and printers also, so anyone can go there and print off forms and instructions from the IRS website. I think the library charges a nickle or a dime a printed page. Probably they shouldn't charge anything, now that I think of it, but that's life.

I start on my tax returns early, so as to avoid last minute form needs. And, as noted, both forms and instructions can be ordered over the phone from the IRS.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by mouses » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:22 am

obafgkm wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:41 am
dodecahedron wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:27 am
That said, my patience with tedious IRS forms is limited. I hate the convoluted way that some of the worksheets lead you around without disclosing the relatively simple underlying formula they are trying to get you to implement. (An amusing parody of this process: If the IRS had discovered the quadratic formula)
Hilarious! :D
Yes. Really. If I have thought this once, I have thought it dozens of times.

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teen persuasion
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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by teen persuasion » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:41 am

mouses wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:22 am
obafgkm wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:41 am
dodecahedron wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:27 am
That said, my patience with tedious IRS forms is limited. I hate the convoluted way that some of the worksheets lead you around without disclosing the relatively simple underlying formula they are trying to get you to implement. (An amusing parody of this process: If the IRS had discovered the quadratic formula)
Hilarious! :D
Yes. Really. If I have thought this once, I have thought it dozens of times.
Agreed! I'm always ranting that we need simplified forms for people who speak math.

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by TravelGeek » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:37 am

obafgkm wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:40 am

Your library has your family members and friends? :confused :P
Definitely friends - they even have a website for their organization: “Friends of the [city] Library” :beer

(but yes, I meant printers and computers)

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Re: How Do People Without Computer Access Prepare and File Their Taxes?

Post by dbr » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:46 am

I help certain family members prepare taxes on my computer using Turbotax. Being able to do multiple preparations is an advantage of downloaded versions of the software. The people in question would not be able to figure out how to file a tax form if they did have a computer and would not be able to use a tax accountant as they would not have acquired and saved their income data without year long supervision.

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