PSA - beware auto import on tax software

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wjo
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PSA - beware auto import on tax software

Post by wjo » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:05 am

A public service announcement (PSA) - doing my taxes last night, using TaxAct, for the first time I automatically imported tax information from Fidelity. Multiple forms, lots of transactions this year. One immediate problem is that a taxable sale was recorded twice as a duplicate, with the cost basis and gain numbers reversed (twice!). That was the immediate problem found. I am going to have to spend more time checking and rechecking all the things that were input automatically than just doing the manual input myself.

I am not sure if this an isolated incident, something endemic to TaxAct or Fidelity, or just a problem in general. (I wonder about professional offices that use this technology...) I had ignored this auto import for years but thought maybe the technology is now mature enough that I could be a late adopter. Seems not - back to manual entry for me.

In any case, a warning to others to triple check if they are auto-importing information into their tax prep software.

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tfb
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Re: PSA - beware auto import on tax software

Post by tfb » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:15 am

wjo wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:05 am
I am going to have to spend more time checking and rechecking all the things that were input automatically than just doing the manual input myself.
I agree. That's why I don't import.
Last edited by tfb on Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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HueyLD
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Re: PSA - beware auto import on tax software

Post by HueyLD » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:18 am

Yes, it is always a good idea to double check the download no matter which software one uses.

I think the problem is on the TA side because I have no problem downloading 1099 data from multiple sources into TurboTax.

jebmke
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Re: PSA - beware auto import on tax software

Post by jebmke » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:18 am

Same here. If I can't pound in a few numbers it probably means my financial life has gotten too complicated.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

dcabler
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Re: PSA - beware auto import on tax software

Post by dcabler » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:22 am

I use TaxCut and I import. But years ago I noticed that I have to be careful because once you import, the program has no memory that you did that. So if later on you want to update by re-importing, everything gets put in once again instead of having the old data overwritten as you might expect.

So.... I sit down with my wife and the 1099's, W-2's, etc. I read what is imported and she checks it off on the paper copies. Usually takes less than 20 minutes for the double check and have never found an error.

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