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eFile/ePay: Great Idea Ruined by Bureaucracy
Old 03-30-2016, 01:14 PM   #1
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eFile/ePay: Great Idea Ruined by Bureaucracy

Just finished my taxes, and found that simply printing out the return and mailing it was easier and cheaper than eFiling.

1. eFile/ePay

Pay $9.95
Jump through hoops to get PIN
Fill out forms online
Pretend to read long legal fine print
Repeat steps 2-4 for ePay
Repeat steps for California state ePay
Tolerate computers that can't remove dashes from SSN or know that 169
is the same as 169.00
Tolerate computers that have special password requirements
If choose to have California account for easier paying:
Go through above steps
Wait 10 days or a PIN to arrive by mail

Versus

2. Use technology from 352 B.C (when checks were invented)

A few clicks to print return (papyrus first used: 3,000 BC)
Write check
Address Envelope
Apply stamp
Mail
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Old 03-30-2016, 01:22 PM   #2
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In WV TurboTax wanted $19.95 to E-file. So I printed it. Kind of a no-brainer - who would pay that much for E-file if printing is a option?

Okay, maybe if you're multi-gazillionare or something but for the rest of us?
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Old 03-30-2016, 01:31 PM   #3
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Be sure to get 'proof' you sent them.

I always use print/USPS mail for all my taxes. My LLCs can be lumped in the same envelope, and I get registered mail, return receipt requested.

The DGF and my personal taxes in the same envelope too, which go to a different address than the LLC taxes.

And the S-Corp taxes go to a third address, same mailing process.
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Old 03-30-2016, 01:52 PM   #4
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A timely complaint, Al.

I got a very strange item in the mail today, and I'm perplexed as to how it could happen.

I e-filed my federal return over a month ago, through TurboTax, and all was well -- TT told me it was accepted by the feds and I was done.

But today I got a printed copy of the return from the IRS with a green cover sheet (Form 3531) stapled to it, asking for a signature on the form (since when, since it was e-filed?) as well as documentation to support my claim that $X had been withheld. It's not a problem; I just have to print out the 1099-R showing the withholding amount, but it's just so weird.

Has anyone else experienced this IRS hiccup?
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:45 PM   #5
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That's why I didn't file eFile for my kid. I always owe money, so I write check to the IRS. They, the people at IRS, usually cash my check right away and that's good enough proof the IRS has my return.


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Old 03-30-2016, 03:42 PM   #6
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But today I got a printed copy of the return from the IRS with a green cover sheet (Form 3531) stapled to it, asking for a signature on the form (since when, since it was e-filed?) as well as documentation to support my claim that $X had been withheld. It's not a problem; I just have to print out the 1099-R showing the withholding amount, but it's just so weird.

Has anyone else experienced this IRS hiccup?
No - Is it possible that there was either a discrepancy on what was on the 1099-R and what was entered into the computer?

We do many 1099-R's at our tax site. We are trained to verify everything on the 1099-R is the same when there is a prior-year carry forward of the "same" 1099-R available. Things like payer ID or payer address can and do change from year to year.

It is possible that not catching a change like this might trigger a response as you have described.

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Old 03-30-2016, 03:49 PM   #7
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No - Is it possible that there was either a discrepancy on what was on the 1099-R and what was entered into the computer?
Nothing like that. I checked my file version of the return against the printed copy they sent me, and every number matched perfectly. They asked me to verify the amount claimed as withheld, and someone manually wrote in that amount on the cover sheet, which matched the printed copy they enclosed, which matched my file copy.

I can only conclude that something at either TurboTax or the IRS caused a glitch that made them think it was a paper return instead of an e-file. Bizarre!
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:03 PM   #8
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e-filed federal.. just remember you previous year PINs. Cost included with the 18.95 I paid for TaxAct.
9.99 for state e-file. ripoff, but done.
returns done and fed refund back, none expected from the state.

Have extra fed e-files as part of the package purchased...

not really a big deal.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:16 PM   #9
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I used H&R Block software and it came with 5 free e-files. Software was $29.95 after a discount coupon. So far, we have used 4 of the 5 free e-files (family member returns).
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:23 PM   #10
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The problem is your tax software. H&RBlock is not only cheap, but with the rebates it is less than zero. Yep, that's right: H&RBlock pays you to use their software. You must have been away from the ER forum when it was announced that this was the least expensive way to do your taxes.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:26 PM   #11
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The reason I am reluctant to stop using TT is that it has 5 free e-files (I only use 2 these days) plus when I import the previous year's TT return it has all my past info, including bank details etc.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:37 PM   #12
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Hi Alan, HRBlock seamlessly imported my previous TT file. Also HRBlock has 5 free e-files, but a state e-file might be extra (I don't know since I file a NY state return which is free e-file by law).

I'd go back to TT if they provided a large rebate making TT free and HRBlock did not. If they both were free, I would stick with HRBlock.

PS: I learned what a spurtle is today.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:48 PM   #13
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Hi Alan, HRBlock seamlessly imported my previous TT file. Also HRBlock has 5 free e-files, but a state e-file might be extra (I don't know since I file a NY state return which is free e-file by law).

I'd go back to TT if they provided a large rebate making TT free and HRBlock did not. If they both were free, I would stick with HRBlock.

PS: I learned what a spurtle is today.
Good to know for next year, thanks.

I had to look up what a spurtle is, and was surprised to see that I'd seen one being used back when we used to live in Scotland. I never realized it had a name, we were aways content using a wooden spoon when making our porridge.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:58 PM   #14
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I want one-click efile; maybe if Amazon ran the IRS.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:06 PM   #15
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I want one-click efile; maybe if Amazon ran the IRS.
I think Bezos should buy the IRS.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:44 PM   #16
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I e-filed via H&R Block with 3 free federal e-files. My youngest is going to school in Wisconsin and the e-file would have been $15-20. Wisconsin however, has a free filing option on their website, so I transfer the numbers from his printed return and e-file directly. A few extra steps, but not difficult.
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:43 PM   #17
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Our CPA efiled our taxes Monday (he'd only had them for five weeks, the laggard) and our MD refund is already in our checking account. We are also due a Federal refund; will post when that arrives.

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Old 03-30-2016, 07:13 PM   #18
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I think Bezos should buy the IRS.
The Romans privatized tax collection over 2000 years ago. Things got a little rough for the citizens when the profit motive was strong in the tax collector!

As an expat I have my (152 pages) state and federal taxes done by an accounting firm, and they eFile for me, so it's no real effort on my part. I did make my payment a couple of nights ago using www.irs.gov/payments and that was about the easiest one-time online payment I've ever made. I did have to prove my identity with name, address, SSN, and a couple of other bits of info, but after that there was no login ID, no password, no secret question, no PIN, no account number. Just bank account details and amount of payment, click OK, click review payment, done. I was quite impressed at how easy the IRS made it to pay them.
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:16 PM   #19
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I used H&R Block software and it came with 5 free e-files. Software was $29.95 after a discount coupon. So far, we have used 4 of the 5 free e-files (family member returns).
I got the same software, but I still print everything out and go to the post office to send it certified mail, return receipt requested. I always owe, so I write a check to them. I won't e-file unless and until there is no other option.
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Old 03-31-2016, 04:40 AM   #20
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I tried to e-file my taxes with TT last night. We owe big, so that was bad enough. Then it got rejected because a return had already been filed with DW's SSN.
Filled out the identity theft affidavit and am sending it along with all the forms and our huge check. We'll see what happens!


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