File tax return electronically

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beyou
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File tax return electronically

Post by beyou » Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:18 am

For the many Bogleheads who fear/loathe e-filing, note paper returns are essentially sitting in an endless wait state.

https://www.fool.com/taxes/2020/04/25/n ... givin.aspx

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tennisplyr
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by tennisplyr » Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:39 am

I've used Turbo tax for a few years now, reasonably straightforward.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

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beyou
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by beyou » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:01 am

tennisplyr wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:39 am
I've used Turbo tax for a few years now, reasonably straightforward.
It is the data theft most seem to fear.
Nobody seems to account for the fact that paper can be lost, stolen, destroyed, miskeyed upon entry and worst of all for id theft are these delays. ID thieves can file for a refund in your name while your paper sits in a pile for weeks. Then your paper return will be slowed down even further while you clear up ID theft with the IRS.

retired early&luv it
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by retired early&luv it » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:07 am

I do not recall when I switched to e-filing, but I was later than many or most. That said, I am quite happy with e-filing and I got my federal refund on Feb 28 by direct depost this year.

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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by jebmke » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:16 am

beyou wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:01 am
tennisplyr wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:39 am
I've used Turbo tax for a few years now, reasonably straightforward.
It is the data theft most seem to fear.
Nobody seems to account for the fact that paper can be lost, stolen, destroyed, miskeyed upon entry and worst of all for id theft are these delays. ID thieves can file for a refund in your name while your paper sits in a pile for weeks. Then your paper return will be slowed down even further while you clear up ID theft with the IRS.
My entire 2009 return and all audit papers were lost by the IRS in 2011. I ended up having to provide an entire file to them to restart the process.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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cheese_breath
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by cheese_breath » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:47 am

I've been e-filing longer than I can remember.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:18 pm

beyou wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:18 am
For the many Bogleheads who fear/loathe e-filing, note paper returns are essentially sitting in an endless wait state.

https://www.fool.com/taxes/2020/04/25/n ... givin.aspx
If I had filed our taxes, I would be OK with that status, as we owe a small amount. When I mail our 2019 taxes, as close to July 15th as I can, I'll pay via a credit card and however long the IRS takes to process return is no real concern to me.

Over the years I have hammered DDs about making interest-free loans to Uncle Sam, and slowly their refunds have gone down. Owing and being in "safe harbor" would be even better, but, one step at a time.

Best way to not worry about a refund is to stop lending your money interest-free to the guvmint.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

Lalamimi
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by Lalamimi » Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:21 pm

E filed ours Feb 21. Final processing was April 17. Had asked that refund be applied to 2020 taxes, so did not include bank info. Finally got bank info submitted Thursday for stimulus payment. Earliest I have filed in years.

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beyou
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by beyou » Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:22 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:18 pm
beyou wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:18 am
For the many Bogleheads who fear/loathe e-filing, note paper returns are essentially sitting in an endless wait state.

https://www.fool.com/taxes/2020/04/25/n ... givin.aspx
If I had filed our taxes, I would be OK with that status, as we owe a small amount. When I mail our 2019 taxes, as close to July 15th as I can, I'll pay via a credit card and however long the IRS takes to process return is no real concern to me.

Over the years I have hammered DDs about making interest-free loans to Uncle Sam, and slowly their refunds have gone down. Owing and being in "safe harbor" would be even better, but, one step at a time.

Best way to not worry about a refund is to stop lending your money interest-free to the guvmint.

Broken Man 1999
Except that an ID thief can file a fraudulent return in your name, claiming a refund.
Then you later file showing the correct amount you owe, which you may not mind owing, but now you need to deal with
proving yours is the real Mcoy. Note you can file early if you owe and pay later, but then you stop ID fraud and elminate errors
by efiling. I owed money but filed long ago, telling them to take payment on April 15 (before it was pushed back to July which doesn't normally occur). Paper filing is not the only way to maximize your float.

Sandwich
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by Sandwich » Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:41 pm

beyou wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:18 am
For the many Bogleheads who fear/loathe e-filing, note paper returns are essentially sitting in an endless wait state.

https://www.fool.com/taxes/2020/04/25/n ... givin.aspx
I assisted elderly relative prepare a complicated 2019 MFJ return. Spouse passed away in late 2019 ... so e-filing was not an option. :(

Mailed paper 2019 return via certified mail on March 7th with expectation of a large refund.

"Get my refund" has no status on when refund may be direct deposited.

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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by jebmke » Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:52 pm

I am pretty sure I have e-filed returns at Taxaide for surviving spouses (MFJ, year of death). Maybe the limitation is software vendor specific.

I am preparing one now (privately) for a widow of a friend using H&R Block Deluxe but have not attempted to file yet.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

donall
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by donall » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:06 pm

Pretty sure I filed a 1040 and 1041 for the year of death electronically as an executor.

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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by Big Dog » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:15 pm

I use T-Tax Deluxe so I e-file federal, but refuse to pay their exorbitant fees for state filing so I just use snail mail. I could care less how long the return sits in a mail bag unopened (as I usually don't have much of a refund coming, so I roll it over until next year).

Sandwich
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by Sandwich » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:17 pm

jebmke wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:52 pm
I am pretty sure I have e-filed returns at Taxaide for surviving spouses (MFJ, year of death). Maybe the limitation is software vendor specific.

I am preparing one now (privately) for a widow of a friend using H&R Block Deluxe but have not attempted to file yet.
I am an AARP Tax-Aide preparer and in my area we instructed those with a deceased spouse to "paper" file the final MFJ return we prepared for them. Based on that practice, I did the same method for my elderly relative.

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dodecahedron
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by dodecahedron » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:20 pm

jebmke wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:52 pm
I am pretty sure I have e-filed returns at Taxaide for surviving spouses (MFJ, year of death). Maybe the limitation is software vendor specific.

I am preparing one now (privately) for a widow of a friend using H&R Block Deluxe but have not attempted to file yet.
My late husband did not like efiles so even though we started using tax software back around 1990, we always paperfiled the returns. (The IRS referred to folks like us as ¨committed v-coders.¨) V-coders are folks who use tax software, print out the return, and mail it in.

After his death, I stopped v-coding. I was definitely able to efile our final MFJ Form 1040 joint return for the year of his death (which included my income for the entire tax year and his income from Jan 1 through date of death). I also efiled the 1041 (estate income tax return.) And ever since, I have been what the IRS calls a ¨committed efiler.¨ I am about to efile my 2019 Form 1040SR return.

(I did have to file federal & NY estate tax returns (Form 706 and ET-706, respectively), even though no federal nor NYS tax was due to spousal exemption. Those were insanely long and annoying documents. My attorney´s paralegal used their software, since there is no consumer software for that, but it still had to be paperfiled.)
Last edited by dodecahedron on Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dodecahedron
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by dodecahedron » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:27 pm

Sandwich wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:17 pm
jebmke wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:52 pm
I am pretty sure I have e-filed returns at Taxaide for surviving spouses (MFJ, year of death). Maybe the limitation is software vendor specific.

I am preparing one now (privately) for a widow of a friend using H&R Block Deluxe but have not attempted to file yet.
I am an AARP Tax-Aide preparer and in my area we instructed those with a deceased spouse to "paper" file the final MFJ return we prepared for them. Based on that practice, I did the same method for my elderly relative.
We have not gotten that kind of guidance at our VITA site. We have successfully efiled a number of final MFJ returns for low-income surviving spouses (in situations with essentially no assets or probate estate issues. Any hint of anything complicated or out-of-scope for VITA, we referred to tax professionals.)

jebmke
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by jebmke » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:30 pm

Sandwich wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:17 pm
jebmke wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:52 pm
I am pretty sure I have e-filed returns at Taxaide for surviving spouses (MFJ, year of death). Maybe the limitation is software vendor specific.

I am preparing one now (privately) for a widow of a friend using H&R Block Deluxe but have not attempted to file yet.
I am an AARP Tax-Aide preparer and in my area we instructed those with a deceased spouse to "paper" file the final MFJ return we prepared for them. Based on that practice, I did the same method for my elderly relative.
I know some districts that do this. We have a pretty strict policy. No paper file unless required. Makes it easier to deal with the clients that just want to file a paper return for no reason.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Kurmudjon
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by Kurmudjon » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:36 pm

Have used TT and efiled for at least 10 years. For those complaining about State Efiling cost Of about $40 or so I just laugh. A once a year cost which doesn’t even register on my radar.
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Rainier
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by Rainier » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:42 pm

Big Dog wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:15 pm
I use T-Tax Deluxe so I e-file federal, but refuse to pay their exorbitant fees for state filing so I just use snail mail. I could care less how long the return sits in a mail bag unopened (as I usually don't have much of a refund coming, so I roll it over until next year).
*Couldn't care less.

I use my state's e-filing system, works great. Totally free. You can queue it up in TT then just transfer over to the state and make sure they match.

For everyone that fears e-filing and wears a tinfoil hat, your delayed stimulus check is what you get. I got mine first week, right into my bank account.

marcopolo
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by marcopolo » Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:11 pm

beyou wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:18 am
For the many Bogleheads who fear/loathe e-filing, note paper returns are essentially sitting in an endless wait state.

https://www.fool.com/taxes/2020/04/25/n ... givin.aspx
I am not sure e-filing is much better?

I e-filed mine on March 10th, and received my refund about two weeks later.

Both my son's e-filed about a week later, and their returns are both listed as "still processing, we will provide a refund date when available", or something similar in the IRS status page.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

ENT Doc
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by ENT Doc » Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:34 pm

Extremely frustrating. What is perhaps more frustrating is that if you don’t qualify for free e-file you will likely have to pay to file your taxes electronically. As to the fraud aspect of it, you can mail your forms in early just as you can e-file. If a fraudster paper files for you and you later e-file don’t you have the same problems if needing to verify yours is the accurate one?

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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by Toons » Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:45 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:47 am
I've been e-filing longer than I can remember.

Bingo :thumbsup
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beyou
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by beyou » Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:50 pm

marcopolo wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:11 pm
beyou wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:18 am
For the many Bogleheads who fear/loathe e-filing, note paper returns are essentially sitting in an endless wait state.

https://www.fool.com/taxes/2020/04/25/n ... givin.aspx
I am not sure e-filing is much better?

I e-filed mine on March 10th, and received my refund about two weeks later.

Both my son's e-filed about a week later, and their returns are both listed as "still processing, we will provide a refund date when available", or something similar in the IRS status page.
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-urges- ... assistance

“The IRS is not currently able to process individual paper tax returns.”

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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by AlohaJoe » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:00 pm

Big Dog wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:15 pm
I use T-Tax Deluxe so I e-file federal, but refuse to pay their exorbitant fees for state filing so I just use snail mail. I could care less how long the return sits in a mail bag unopened (as I usually don't have much of a refund coming, so I roll it over until next year).
I refuse to pay to file federal taxes. I've paid taxes in numerous other countries and none of them except the US required me to pay a for-profit company to do so. The Free Fillable Forms may work for many but have lots of things they don't support. I've never been able to use them because of that. So I paper file....

Just bad luck that this is the year I get a sizeable refund....

marcopolo
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by marcopolo » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:03 pm

beyou wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:50 pm
marcopolo wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:11 pm
beyou wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:18 am
For the many Bogleheads who fear/loathe e-filing, note paper returns are essentially sitting in an endless wait state.

https://www.fool.com/taxes/2020/04/25/n ... givin.aspx
I am not sure e-filing is much better?

I e-filed mine on March 10th, and received my refund about two weeks later.

Both my son's e-filed about a week later, and their returns are both listed as "still processing, we will provide a refund date when available", or something similar in the IRS status page.
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-urges- ... assistance

“The IRS is not currently able to process individual paper tax returns.”
I understand that, my point was that they do not appear to be processing e-filed returns with any kind of urgency either.
Perhaps they are too busy with the stimulus payments.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

cherijoh
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by cherijoh » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:23 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:18 pm
beyou wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:18 am
For the many Bogleheads who fear/loathe e-filing, note paper returns are essentially sitting in an endless wait state.

https://www.fool.com/taxes/2020/04/25/n ... givin.aspx
If I had filed our taxes, I would be OK with that status, as we owe a small amount. When I mail our 2019 taxes, as close to July 15th as I can, I'll pay via a credit card and however long the IRS takes to process return is no real concern to me.

Over the years I have hammered DDs about making interest-free loans to Uncle Sam, and slowly their refunds have gone down. Owing and being in "safe harbor" would be even better, but, one step at a time.

Best way to not worry about a refund is to stop lending your money interest-free to the guvmint.

Broken Man 1999
I always had just enough withheld to be in a safe harbor based on previous year's taxes owed. But for that to be efficient you need to have stable taxable income.

I retired in 2018 and did a chunk of Roth conversions in 4Q 2018, so I owed a bunch of money, but didn't need to pay penalties. For 2019, I did no Roth conversions but had a larger than normal itemized deduction. This resulted in my biggest tax refund ever for Federal. I guess I could have eliminated my 4Q estimated tax payment, but I didn't want to spend too much time trying to precalculate my taxes so I just stuck with what I had calculated to meet the safe harbor provisions.

I'm still waiting on my state refund (I mailed in that return), but it is less than 60 bucks, so I'm not too concerned. I probably should have just applied it to my estimated taxes for 2020, but I like to use the cashed check or refund received as confirmation that my taxes were actually received. I've used registered mail in the past only to have it confirm that I'd mailed it but it never showed received status.

ENT Doc
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by ENT Doc » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:55 pm

AlohaJoe wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:00 pm
Big Dog wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:15 pm
I use T-Tax Deluxe so I e-file federal, but refuse to pay their exorbitant fees for state filing so I just use snail mail. I could care less how long the return sits in a mail bag unopened (as I usually don't have much of a refund coming, so I roll it over until next year).
I refuse to pay to file federal taxes. I've paid taxes in numerous other countries and none of them except the US required me to pay a for-profit company to do so. The Free Fillable Forms may work for many but have lots of things they don't support. I've never been able to use them because of that. So I paper file....

Just bad luck that this is the year I get a sizeable refund....
Amen

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AAA
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by AAA » Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:15 pm

beyou wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:01 am
It is the data theft most seem to fear.
In my case, I am reluctant to e-file because I cannot see exactly what is being filed as I can with paper filing. Yes, I can have the program print out the forms that would be submitted to the IRS with paper filing, but I can't verify that the electronically filed return matches what is in those forms. I'm not saying it's a reasonable objection, but for now that's why I continue to paper file.

AlohaJoe
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by AlohaJoe » Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:41 pm

AAA wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:15 pm
beyou wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:01 am
It is the data theft most seem to fear.
In my case, I am reluctant to e-file because I cannot see exactly what is being filed as I can with paper filing. Yes, I can have the program print out the forms that would be submitted to the IRS with paper filing, but I can't verify that the electronically filed return matches what is in those forms. I'm not saying it's a reasonable objection, but for now that's why I continue to paper file.
You have no guarantee that what the IRS types into their system is what you put on your paper return. I've had that problem a few times in the past, including one year where they input my address wrong.

stateofsss
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by stateofsss » Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:02 pm

I would always file the return electronically. That way you at least have proof it was accepted.

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cheese_breath
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by cheese_breath » Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:04 am

AlohaJoe wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:41 pm
AAA wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:15 pm
beyou wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:01 am
It is the data theft most seem to fear.
In my case, I am reluctant to e-file because I cannot see exactly what is being filed as I can with paper filing. Yes, I can have the program print out the forms that would be submitted to the IRS with paper filing, but I can't verify that the electronically filed return matches what is in those forms. I'm not saying it's a reasonable objection, but for now that's why I continue to paper file.
You have no guarantee that what the IRS types into their system is what you put on your paper return. I've had that problem a few times in the past, including one year where they input my address wrong.
Don't they scan just about everything now? Wouldn't the only reason they'd need to enter it manually be because you prepared the return manually, and your handwriting is so bad the scanner can't recognize it?
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by AlohaJoe » Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:55 am

cheese_breath wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:04 am
AlohaJoe wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:41 pm
AAA wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:15 pm
beyou wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:01 am
It is the data theft most seem to fear.
In my case, I am reluctant to e-file because I cannot see exactly what is being filed as I can with paper filing. Yes, I can have the program print out the forms that would be submitted to the IRS with paper filing, but I can't verify that the electronically filed return matches what is in those forms. I'm not saying it's a reasonable objection, but for now that's why I continue to paper file.
You have no guarantee that what the IRS types into their system is what you put on your paper return. I've had that problem a few times in the past, including one year where they input my address wrong.
Don't they scan just about everything now? Wouldn't the only reason they'd need to enter it manually be because you prepared the return manually, and your handwriting is so bad the scanner can't recognize it?
I meant it in a metaphorical sense, yes they probably scan everything. But scanning can also fail. The IRS has had my address wrong for two years which has caused problems with correspondence and account verification. Eventually one piece of mail magically made it through and I could see how they mangled the address. No wonder nothing else ever arrived.

Faith20879
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by Faith20879 » Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:31 am

Have always filed paper in the past. This year (2019) was our first time e-filing - after receiving some encouragement from the fellow BHs.

The endorsement from the BHs is very true. The IRS's file-for-free website indeed was very easy to use.

Even our state MD's free e-file system was not too bad. It even lets us defer paying the balance to a later date.

After filing, we have all the forms and screenshots in pdf downloaded. No need to scan the paper forms before mailing out. No need to stand in line at the Post Office (imagine with the COVID-19???) . No need to pay postage stamps (we have extra forms so extra postage). And the refunds came a lot faster than previous years (7 business days). Wish we had switched earlier.

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AAA
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by AAA » Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:35 am

AlohaJoe wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:41 pm
You have no guarantee that what the IRS types into their system is what you put on your paper return. I've had that problem a few times in the past, including one year where they input my address wrong.
True. no method is foolproof. Years ago when using one of the usual programs to do my state taxes, for some unknown reason it said I should pay a large estimated tax. When paper filing, I just removed the estimated tax forms from what I mailed in. If I had e-filed, they would have been included. Maybe there was a way around it, but I think that incident is what turned me off of e-filing. I'm not trying to talk anyone out of e-filing and I can see the advantages, but I'm just explaining my reluctance due to not seeing exactly what is being filed. Maybe sometime in the near future I will give it a try.

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grabiner
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by grabiner » Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:41 am

AAA wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:35 am
AlohaJoe wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:41 pm
You have no guarantee that what the IRS types into their system is what you put on your paper return. I've had that problem a few times in the past, including one year where they input my address wrong.
True. no method is foolproof. Years ago when using one of the usual programs to do my state taxes, for some unknown reason it said I should pay a large estimated tax. When paper filing, I just removed the estimated tax forms from what I mailed in. If I had e-filed, they would have been included.
The estimated tax forms would not be e-filed, because they are not part of your return. If the tax program thinks you will owe $8000 of tax next year, it prints out four vouchers for you to make $2000 payments later in the year, and it will print those out when you print a copy of your return for e-filing anyway,

I do find this feature an annoyance, because it's not something you can naturally override. When I had a big tax bill one year, I had already adjusted my withholding for the next year to avoid a penalty, but I couldn't tell TurboTax that I had done this, so it printed out the 1040-ES vouchers. Conversely, if something has changed for this year so that you will need to pay estimated tax, TurboTax doesn't ask you about it.
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cheese_breath
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by cheese_breath » Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:54 am

grabiner wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:41 am
The estimated tax forms would not be e-filed, because they are not part of your return. If the tax program thinks you will owe $8000 of tax next year, it prints out four vouchers for you to make $2000 payments later in the year, and it will print those out when you print a copy of your return for e-filing anyway,

I do find this feature an annoyance, because it's not something you can naturally override...
Agreed. I can use the paper for grocery lists, but all that wasted ink. :oops: :( :x Obviously not designed by a Boglehead.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

talzara
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by talzara » Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:47 pm

AAA wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:15 pm
In my case, I am reluctant to e-file because I cannot see exactly what is being filed as I can with paper filing. Yes, I can have the program print out the forms that would be submitted to the IRS with paper filing, but I can't verify that the electronically filed return matches what is in those forms. I'm not saying it's a reasonable objection, but for now that's why I continue to paper file.
For the most part, the e-filed returns contain the same information that's on the paper returns. There are a few differences, especially in "Attach statement." Many statements are actually treated e-filed as forms, with individual line items that can be processed electronically. When it gets to the IRS, most of the data is stored away and never examined unless you are audited.

The problem with the IRS e-file system is that it does everything behind your back. You cannot see the data that is being transmitted to the IRS, so you have to assume that everything you typed into the tax software is being submitted. For example, most worksheets are not submitted, but how do you know that?

Canada used to have a better e-filing system. There was a .tax file format, which tax software could save. You could go to the Canada Revenue Agency's website and upload the .tax file yourself. Nothing was done behind your back, because you could see what was in the .tax file before you uploaded it. However, the CRA has replaced the old system with NETFILE, which requires taxpayers to e-file through a tax software company.
Last edited by talzara on Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

talzara
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by talzara » Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:49 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:04 am
AlohaJoe wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:41 pm
You have no guarantee that what the IRS types into their system is what you put on your paper return. I've had that problem a few times in the past, including one year where they input my address wrong.
Don't they scan just about everything now? Wouldn't the only reason they'd need to enter it manually be because you prepared the return manually, and your handwriting is so bad the scanner can't recognize it?
Form 1040 is keyboarded in, just like in the 1950s. The IRS scans some forms, but not Form 1040.

talzara
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by talzara » Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:56 pm

beyou wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:22 pm
Except that an ID thief can file a fraudulent return in your name, claiming a refund.
Then you later file showing the correct amount you owe, which you may not mind owing, but now you need to deal with
proving yours is the real Mcoy.
The IRS is now offering the Identity Protection PIN to all taxpayers. Returns with the wrong PIN will be rejected. Returns without a PIN will undergo additional scrutiny.

Whether you file on paper or e-file, every Boglehead should get an Identity Protection PIN: https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-frau ... ection-pin

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beyou
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by beyou » Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:17 pm

“Who’s eligible for an IP PIN?
If you are a confirmed victim of identity theft and the IRS has resolved your tax account issues, we will mail you a CP01A Notice with your IP PIN.

If you live in one of 20 locations, you are eligible for the online IP PIN Opt-In Program. To be eligible for 2020, you must have filed a federal return last year as a resident of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas or Washington.

Please note: the IRS is expanding eligibility for the IP PIN Opt-In Program. States are being added in phases until the program moves nationwide. ”


Getting there but not there yet.
For those in the 20 locations above, yes get
the IP pin !

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cheese_breath
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by cheese_breath » Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:39 pm

talzara wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:49 pm
cheese_breath wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:04 am
AlohaJoe wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:41 pm
You have no guarantee that what the IRS types into their system is what you put on your paper return. I've had that problem a few times in the past, including one year where they input my address wrong.
Don't they scan just about everything now? Wouldn't the only reason they'd need to enter it manually be because you prepared the return manually, and your handwriting is so bad the scanner can't recognize it?
Form 1040 is keyboarded in, just like in the 1950s. The IRS scans some forms, but not Form 1040.
Probably nut just like the '50s. They probably used punched cards then. I wonder if they even make the cards now.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

Big Dog
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by Big Dog » Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:10 pm

AlohaJoe wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:00 pm
Big Dog wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:15 pm
I use T-Tax Deluxe so I e-file federal, but refuse to pay their exorbitant fees for state filing so I just use snail mail. I could care less how long the return sits in a mail bag unopened (as I usually don't have much of a refund coming, so I roll it over until next year).
I refuse to pay to file federal taxes. I've paid taxes in numerous other countries and none of them except the US required me to pay a for-profit company to do so. The Free Fillable Forms may work for many but have lots of things they don't support. I've never been able to use them because of that. So I paper file....

Just bad luck that this is the year I get a sizeable refund....
Understand, but Deluxe inlcludes one state and "free" e-filing; it works out to good value to me as California's tax return contains several differences to the feds.

rich126
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by rich126 » Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:02 pm

All 3 of mine (2 different states and the federal) were not filed electronically. My CPA doesn't seem to like doing it. I already received one state's refund but I figured the federal and the other state's refund may be quite some time.

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Kurmudjon
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by Kurmudjon » Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:19 pm

I’d be looking for a new cpa/ just sayin
“Some of its magic some of its tragic but I had a good life all the way.”

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beyou
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by beyou » Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:53 pm

rich126 wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:02 pm
All 3 of mine (2 different states and the federal) were not filed electronically. My CPA doesn't seem to like doing it. I already received one state's refund but I figured the federal and the other state's refund may be quite some time.

Well I got my state refund in a few weeks, after e-filing.
Owed feds, filed long ago, but it did not get withdrawn from my bank account until due date, which was 4/15 until recently.
And you pay a CPA why ?

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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by AlohaJoe » Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:04 pm

talzara wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:56 pm
The IRS is now offering the Identity Protection PIN to all taxpayers.
As pointed out be beyou, it isn't available in all locations.

Even in those locations, getting a PIN requires you have
Credit card – last 8 digits (no American Express, debit or corporate cards) or
Student loan or
Mortgage or home equity loan or
Home equity line of credit (HELOC) or
Auto loan
Since the Federal government relies on for-profit companies for this for some reason, there are likely tens of millions of families who don't qualify since they have none of those.

I, for instance, cannot get it. Americans who don't own a car loan (over 60% of Americans). Americans without a credit card (24%). Sure, middle class Americans likely have 3 or 4 of them. But anyone below middle class is pretty likely to have none of them above.

rich126
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by rich126 » Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:03 am

beyou wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:53 pm
rich126 wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:02 pm
All 3 of mine (2 different states and the federal) were not filed electronically. My CPA doesn't seem to like doing it. I already received one state's refund but I figured the federal and the other state's refund may be quite some time.

Well I got my state refund in a few weeks, after e-filing.
Owed feds, filed long ago, but it did not get withdrawn from my bank account until due date, which was 4/15 until recently.
And you pay a CPA why ?
That one is easy. For about a decade I had a rental property out of state. That meant dealing with multiple state returns, depreciation on the property, etc. Stuff that I don't want to deal with. In the near future that will be gone and I'll be more likely to do it on my own (as I did for much of my tax paying life, except when dealing with multiple states).

Chip
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by Chip » Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:29 am

Sandwich wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:17 pm
jebmke wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:52 pm
I am pretty sure I have e-filed returns at Taxaide for surviving spouses (MFJ, year of death). Maybe the limitation is software vendor specific.

I am preparing one now (privately) for a widow of a friend using H&R Block Deluxe but have not attempted to file yet.
I am an AARP Tax-Aide preparer and in my area we instructed those with a deceased spouse to "paper" file the final MFJ return we prepared for them. Based on that practice, I did the same method for my elderly relative.
I'm also a Tax-Aide preparer. We e-file returns for surviving spouses, but make sure that the survivor is the primary SSN on the return. We paper file the final return for a single filer who has passed. I believe one of my EROs (who is also a professional preparer) told me that if SSA has been notified of death, a single-filer return with that SSN will be rejected.

talzara
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by talzara » Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:29 am

beyou wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:17 pm
Getting there but not there yet.
For those in the 20 locations above, yes get
the IP pin !
Too bad. The IRS started with the states that had the highest rate of fraudulent tax returns, and it have been expanding the availability of Identity Protection PINs to states with lower rates of fraud. I was expecting them to have opened up nationwide by now, but apparently not.

The IRS Identity Protection PIN is like the USPS Informed Delivery program. As soon as it's available, you should sign up to protect yourself. Otherwise, someone else could sign up in your name. That would be worse than not having it at all.

talzara
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Re: File tax return electronically

Post by talzara » Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:36 am

AlohaJoe wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:04 pm
Since the Federal government relies on for-profit companies for this for some reason, there are likely tens of millions of families who don't qualify since they have none of those.

I, for instance, cannot get it. Americans who don't own a car loan (over 60% of Americans). Americans without a credit card (24%). Sure, middle class Americans likely have 3 or 4 of them. But anyone below middle class is pretty likely to have none of them above.
The IRS is using your credit report for identity verification. You just need at least one account to be on your credit report. It can even be a closed account, since closed accounts stay on your credit report for 10 years.

About 10% of American adults have empty credit reports. The percentage of Bogleheads is probably much lower.

If you can't get an IRS Identity Protection PIN, then there's nothing to do. If you can, then you should sign up for a PIN right away. It'll be much worse if an identity thief gets one in your place.

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