Paying $20 to E-File State Return

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DetroitRick
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by DetroitRick » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:04 am

On the bright side, this thread dates back to 2011 - at least that $20 hasn't increased :sharebeer .

Totally worth it to me because
1)it's a lot more secure. By comparison, a thick envelope mailed to state treasury at tax time practically screams "open me and steal my social security number".
2)I get faster verification of receipt and acceptance (within 24 hours of submission).
3)I get a faster refund, about 2 weeks or less from submission date. While, I'd like to avoid refunds, my tax situation precludes it for many years.
4)$20 (less time, paper, postage, toner) delivers a great deal of benefit for a trivial sum. It depends on your state, but my returns are always around 10 pages or more, including required federal attachments. So $20 well spent for me.

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flamesabers
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by flamesabers » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:15 am

Convenience and speed I imagine are the primary reasons to pay to e-file. If I'm not mistaken, taxpayers will get their refund faster if they e-file versus mail in their tax return. In addition, if you don't already have a letter-size manila envelope, you'll also have to go out and buy one. Also, imagine if your toner runs out. Most toner costs more then $20. Mailing tax returns can be a little more expensive than the standard shipping fee for first-class mail if you have a lot of forms to mail. If USPS loses your tax paperwork for whatever reason, you have to go through the entire process over again. On the other hand, if your e-forms get lost in cyberspace it's not time-consuming at all to resend them.

I suppose the alternative is to move to a state that doesn't have an income tax. You wouldn't have to mail anything in or pay a $20 e-file fee.

dbltrbl
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by dbltrbl » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:06 pm

you can e-file in Ohio absolutely free as they have their own forms online. data from Federal will not transfer automatically.

*3!4!/5!
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by *3!4!/5! » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:25 pm

Rupert wrote:
Dottie57 wrote:I pay. I want tax paying to be done , finished, buttoned up. If this is the worst way I spend money, then I am happy.


+1. I routinely spend $20 on dinner. E-filing through Turbotax or one of its competitors saves me a lot of time. That's at least worth the price of one dinner. Sometimes the things Bogleheads complain about paying for baffles me.


People take umbrage to the bait-and-switch-y nature of tax software pricing. It is a somewhat slimy business, and it really needn't be. That said, it's sometimes easier to just pay it and move on.

MnD
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by MnD » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:30 pm

I make a PDF file of my state return using Turbotax, then go to the very basic free state-run web site for free electronic filing for anyone who wants to use it. Have the PDF open on one screen while filling in the web-based state return on the other screen.

This provides the help of Turbotax in preparing the state return, the electronic filing advantages and avoids the extra cost.
I buy my lunch most days versus bringing it so I don't take issue with anyone spending the $20 once a year to just be done with it.

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WallStreetPhysician
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by WallStreetPhysician » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:55 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:Can anyone explain to me why someone would pay $20 (the Turbotax fee) to E-File a state return than can alternatively be printed for a few cents and mailed for another 44?


I can't think of a good reason. I sent mine by snail mail but did send it by certified mail to be sure they received it.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:59 pm

deltaneutral83 wrote:
Rupert wrote:
Dottie57 wrote:I pay. I want tax paying to be done , finished, buttoned up. If this is the worst way I spend money, then I am happy.


+1. I routinely spend $20 on dinner. E-filing through Turbotax or one of its competitors saves me a lot of time. That's at least worth the price of one dinner. Sometimes the things Bogleheads complain about paying for baffles me.


It's just a matter of opinion. Most people do not consider 3 minutes a lot of time (print out return, address it, drop in mailbox). For others, it's different priorities.


3 minutes?
Printing (ink+Paper) has a cost. Putting a stamp or multiple stamps on it has a cost. Putting it in an envelope (which has a cost) and making sure it is all stapled together with the correct attachments is probably more like 5 to 10 minutes (not a fraction of the 3) - then there is addressing it - writing out a check for anything owed. Putting an address on it and bringing it to the post office is several more minutes (or walking it down to my mailbox and putting the flag up).
And then - if you don't pay extra to certify it - you are risking that the Post Office doesn't lose it (and based upon my experience there is a 5-10% chance of this happening) so I would pay extra to certify it - which means I'm driving to the Post Office. So I'm looking at probably 30 minute minimum plus $5 to $10 in costs. The $20 is a bargain to me!

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oldzey
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by oldzey » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:09 pm

Rupert wrote:
Dottie57 wrote:I pay. I want tax paying to be done , finished, buttoned up. If this is the worst way I spend money, then I am happy.


+1. I routinely spend $20 on dinner. E-filing through Turbotax or one of its competitors saves me a lot of time. That's at least worth the price of one dinner. Sometimes the things Bogleheads complain about paying for baffles me.


This.
"The broker said the stock was 'poised to move.' Silly me, I thought he meant up." ― Randy Thurman

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John151
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by John151 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:10 pm

It can cost more than $20 to e-file a state return. For their online products, TaxAct currently charges $37 to e-file a state return, and TurboTax charges $39.99.

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Peter Foley
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by Peter Foley » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:13 pm

I have a fairly complicated return with some self employment and rental property. I have to print out a lot of forms to file a state return on paper. Getting the whole thing together and getting it weighed to mail takes time. My time is worth something.

I'm also a former state employee and as part of my job I dealt with a number of very nice professionals in the state revenue department. That department runs very lean because many legislators don't like taxes and don't want to fund tax collections. My e-file helps these former colleagues a little bit.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:18 pm

John151 wrote:It can cost more than $20 to e-file a state return. For their online products, TaxAct currently charges $37 to e-file a state return, and TurboTax charges $39.99.


As FYI - TurboTax only charged me $24.99 to e-file state. Maybe the $39.99 is the cost if you don't pay for the software or some other pricing.
(note this thread started in 2011 - thus the $20 is a bit dated).

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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by *3!4!/5! » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:24 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
John151 wrote:It can cost more than $20 to e-file a state return. For their online products, TaxAct currently charges $37 to e-file a state return, and TurboTax charges $39.99.


As FYI - TurboTax only charged me $24.99 to e-file state. Maybe the $39.99 is the cost if you don't pay for the software or some other pricing.
(note this thread started in 2011 - thus the $20 is a bit dated).


I've been paying about $10 for TaxACT state efile.

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oldzey
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by oldzey » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:25 pm

*3!4!/5! wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:
John151 wrote:It can cost more than $20 to e-file a state return. For their online products, TaxAct currently charges $37 to e-file a state return, and TurboTax charges $39.99.


As FYI - TurboTax only charged me $24.99 to e-file state. Maybe the $39.99 is the cost if you don't pay for the software or some other pricing.
(note this thread started in 2011 - thus the $20 is a bit dated).


I've been paying about $10 for TaxACT state efile.


Same here: $10 for TaxACT state efile (Illinois).
"The broker said the stock was 'poised to move.' Silly me, I thought he meant up." ― Randy Thurman

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John151
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by John151 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:27 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
John151 wrote:It can cost more than $20 to e-file a state return. For their online products, TaxAct currently charges $37 to e-file a state return, and TurboTax charges $39.99.


As FYI - TurboTax only charged me $24.99 to e-file state. Maybe the $39.99 is the cost if you don't pay for the software or some other pricing.
(note this thread started in 2011 - thus the $20 is a bit dated).

I think $24.99 is for TurboTax’s download product. The charge for the online version is $39.99

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John151
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by John151 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:52 pm

oldzey wrote:
*3!4!/5! wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:
John151 wrote:It can cost more than $20 to e-file a state return. For their online products, TaxAct currently charges $37 to e-file a state return, and TurboTax charges $39.99.


As FYI - TurboTax only charged me $24.99 to e-file state. Maybe the $39.99 is the cost if you don't pay for the software or some other pricing.
(note this thread started in 2011 - thus the $20 is a bit dated).


I've been paying about $10 for TaxACT state efile.


Same here: $10 for TaxACT state efile (Illinois).

I e-filed using the online version of TaxAct for $10.50 (federal) and $25 (state). That was in late January. Since then, TaxAct has increased its charges for the online version to $33 (federal) and $37 (state).

These are charges for the online version. Charges for the download version are different.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:25 pm

John151 wrote:
oldzey wrote:
*3!4!/5! wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:
John151 wrote:It can cost more than $20 to e-file a state return. For their online products, TaxAct currently charges $37 to e-file a state return, and TurboTax charges $39.99.


As FYI - TurboTax only charged me $24.99 to e-file state. Maybe the $39.99 is the cost if you don't pay for the software or some other pricing.
(note this thread started in 2011 - thus the $20 is a bit dated).


I've been paying about $10 for TaxACT state efile.


Same here: $10 for TaxACT state efile (Illinois).

I e-filed using the online version of TaxAct for $10.50 (federal) and $25 (state). That was in late January. Since then, TaxAct has increased its charges for the online version to $33 (federal) and $37 (state).

These are charges for the online version. Charges for the download version are different.


I'm a Turbotax fan so continue to use it. I just shop around for the best price on Turbotax premier. This year - I found the old-fashioned CD media to be cheaper than the download price - $51 for Premier from Amazon WITH a 5 Federal efiles included and the $25 per State File charge. The license agreement allows for multiple computer installs and allows you to use it for anyone in the immediate family so I was able to use it for multiple tax returns within the family (only an extra $25 for each state) - without having to run it on the same computer for others family members (e.g. loaded it on the computer of the next person filing).
Looking at Turbotax downloads - it looks like they did increase prices recently (I guess they start charging more as the deadline approaches) but the CD is still available from Amazon for the same price. Note pricing and e-filing vary depending upon whether you buy "CD"; "Download"; or "On-line" - when you buy - and who you buy from.

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F150HD
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by F150HD » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:37 pm

deltaneutral83 wrote:
It's just a matter of opinion. Most people do not consider 3 minutes a lot of time (print out return, address it, drop in mailbox). For others, it's different priorities.


in todays age of identity theft I'd be much less prone to drop something in the mail like a tax document w/ all my financial info + my SS# on it. Years back it didn't seem like much of an issue, but today, different story.

Dunno.

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F150HD
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by F150HD » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:23 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
3 minutes?
Printing (ink+Paper) has a cost. Putting a stamp or multiple stamps on it has a cost. Putting it in an envelope (which has a cost) and making sure it is all stapled together with the correct attachments is probably more like 5 to 10 minutes (not a fraction of the 3) - then there is addressing it - writing out a check for anything owed. Putting an address on it and bringing it to the post office is several more minutes (or walking it down to my mailbox and putting the flag up).
And then - if you don't pay extra to certify it - you are risking that the Post Office doesn't lose it (and based upon my experience there is a 5-10% chance of this happening) so I would pay extra to certify it - which means I'm driving to the Post Office. So I'm looking at probably 30 minute minimum plus $5 to $10 in costs. The $20 is a bargain to me!


LOL.....you forgot to mention the long line at the post office. There is ALWAYS one when I arrive. Frustrating.

pyld76
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by pyld76 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:27 pm

When it was free to e-file with TT, I did so.

When it stopped being free, I didn't. Particularly because I invariably owe PA money. They can work for it, and I know they got the return when the check clears.

moneywise3
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by moneywise3 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:01 pm

I paid $27 over several free ones. Worth every dollar.

Church Lady
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by Church Lady » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:17 pm

Since I've used regular mail, I don't have any proof of anything.


So send it 'return receipt requested'. It costs less than $3 to do so.
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. Ecclesiastes 1:8

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sunny_socal
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:23 pm

I pay the $20 every year and I'll continue to do so. Ever try sending something through any of the 'proper' mailing methods through USPS? (Registered, Certified...) It adds up fast. Fedex/UPS? Easily $20, and $50-80 for overnight. For $20 I get 100% peace of mind that the forms got there without any middlemen.

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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by anoop » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:11 am

DetroitRick wrote:On the bright side, this thread dates back to 2011 - at least that $20 hasn't increased :sharebeer .


Don't give Intuit any ideas. Or they'll turn into Comcast that charges you more per Mbps when the cost is actually dropping!!

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oldzey
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by oldzey » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:14 am

F150HD wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:
3 minutes?
Printing (ink+Paper) has a cost. Putting a stamp or multiple stamps on it has a cost. Putting it in an envelope (which has a cost) and making sure it is all stapled together with the correct attachments is probably more like 5 to 10 minutes (not a fraction of the 3) - then there is addressing it - writing out a check for anything owed. Putting an address on it and bringing it to the post office is several more minutes (or walking it down to my mailbox and putting the flag up).
And then - if you don't pay extra to certify it - you are risking that the Post Office doesn't lose it (and based upon my experience there is a 5-10% chance of this happening) so I would pay extra to certify it - which means I'm driving to the Post Office. So I'm looking at probably 30 minute minimum plus $5 to $10 in costs. The $20 is a bargain to me!


LOL.....you forgot to mention the long line at the post office. There is ALWAYS one when I arrive. Frustrating.


+1

I'd rather chew on a ball of tin foil than mail my taxes at the Post Office again (last time I did was about 2002).
"The broker said the stock was 'poised to move.' Silly me, I thought he meant up." ― Randy Thurman

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sunny_socal
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by sunny_socal » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:44 am

oldzey wrote:
+1

I'd rather chew on a ball of tin foil than mail my taxes at the Post Office again (last time I did was about 2002).


LOL :D I avoid USPS like the plague around tax time. It's a full hour of waiting if you happen to go at the wrong time (which is usually lunch time for me, post offices are open during 'business hours'.) Fedex is much more convenient, open late and fast service.

drew1976
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Re: Paying $20 to E-File State Return

Post by drew1976 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:30 am

I end up paying $40 to TaxAct overall to file my taxes which I still consider a big bargain. I don't have to know the tax code and I'm done in about two hours. Works from any of my computers (linux, windows, chromebooks), nothing to install or download, no post office, no stamps, quickest deposit into my account, secure, I can access my last few returns whenever I need etc. I don't really look at the breakdown of where the money goes, just that overall it's well worth $40 to me.

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