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Old 02-21-2012, 03:27 PM   #21
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I would do the e-filing if the IRS and state gave me a free software package to do it. As close as I can tell, I need to pay somebody to e-file (at least for the state form). That doesn't seem right.
Amen. The IRS pushes e-filing as being easier, more accurate, and saving the government money, so why not make it free? Because (IIRC) the IRS cut a deal with tax prep software makers not to make their own govt efile system but instead to use the commercial system(s) that belong to the software makers. It's simply a way to offer them a govt-sanctioned monopoly. And giving away free tax-filing to low-income folks just adds insult to injury--what kind of cr*p is that? Make it easy and free for low income people to comply with a government mandate, but everyone else will be forced to pay postage or buy software? If e-filing saves taxpayers money, why doesn't the government make it free and convenient for everyone to do it?

I've filed on paper before as my own little rebellious (and futile) "stick-it-to-the-man" gesture.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:35 PM   #22
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What special form? I see nothing in the instruction booklet. And 1040-V, a relatively new form (the payment voucher form), is not required either.
Perhaps I am mistaken.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:13 PM   #23
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We agreed to do this and the AARP rep told us that the IRS is really stressing a paperless system. The only way to get your taxes done there was by agreeing to efile.

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I volunteer with the IRS Tax assistance program, same program as AARP sponsors. We don't require efile, it is at option of taxpayer. We ask if the client wants to efile and let them know if that they will get their refund faster by efile. In fact some returns cannot be efiled so we let them know that they have to file by paper return. I'd be curious if AARP requires efile or if this volunteer just didn't know what he was talking about.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:31 PM   #24
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I volunteer with the IRS Tax assistance program, same program as AARP sponsors. We don't require efile, it is at option of taxpayer. We ask if the client wants to efile and let them know if that they will get their refund faster by efile. In fact some returns cannot be efiled so we let them know that they have to file by paper return. I'd be curious if AARP requires efile or if this volunteer just didn't know what he was talking about.
I volunteered last year through the AARP Taxaide program, and we were told that the IRS wanted us to greatly increase our e-filing percentage, and only file by paper when e-file is not possible. Since the IRS provides all the training materials and documentation, plus the Taxwise software, it seems very reasonable that, to get your taxes done for free, you should e-file. Filers could opt to mail in a check if they owed, or get a check for a refund, even though they e-file. (some folks just don't want to give bank details to the IRS)

They were also provided with a hard copy of their return.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:08 PM   #25
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If the IRS is collecting data in paperless fashion from all sources, it should be a simple matter for their computer to total my numbers, and send me a bill for whatever I owe. If there are certain non-reported elements, such as deductable expenses, I can file just that data. Now THAT's what I'd call paperless.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:40 PM   #26
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If the IRS is collecting data in paperless fashion from all sources, it should be a simple matter for their computer to total my numbers, and send me a bill for whatever I owe. If there are certain non-reported elements, such as deductable expenses, I can file just that data. Now THAT's what I'd call paperless.
It's done that way in the UK, but their rules for individual taxes are a lot simpler. I think I'd rather stick with the present (bad) method than be forced to prove to the IRS that their figures are incomplete/wrong every year.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:15 PM   #27
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what if you get audited?
I e-file every year but I can print out my returns (TT)
Well, they provide a copy for your records but they don't want to print out a return for you to file and mail with a check. They want you to do it electronically. Pretty simple and upfront.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:24 PM   #28
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I volunteer with the IRS Tax assistance program, same program as AARP sponsors. We don't require efile, it is at option of taxpayer. We ask if the client wants to efile and let them know if that they will get their refund faster by efile. In fact some returns cannot be efiled so we let them know that they have to file by paper return. I'd be curious if AARP requires efile or if this volunteer just didn't know what he was talking about.
No, this return was confirmed by the AARP overseer, the representative in charge. It didn't make any difference to me, in so much as I was going to pay anyway. They just didn't want to print out a paper return for me to send in with a check. That would be paperwork. They wanted an efile and electronic deduction from my checking account. It was actually easier for me to do it this way. It's just funny in how they pushed you to do it their way. You had to pay by 4-15 anyway. I was prepared for this. Some people may not be.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:23 PM   #29
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The IRS is requiring any office (ERO) that files over a certain number of returns (can't remember the number) must use efile. If a client wishes to mail in the return, the office must ask the client to sign a special form (that they need to keep on file) stating that they opted out of e-file. Making the path of least resistance and hassle to use e-file. So if you go to a preparer, they will strongly encourage e-filing. Of course, if you do your own, none of these rules apply.

I have had the case personally where a form didn't get scanned or entered into the computer system after I mailed in a paper return. Spent 3 months in correspondence with the IRS (I won) because of a lost paper form. I now e-file (through my free copy of TT).
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:26 PM   #30
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I think I'd rather stick with the present (bad) method than be forced to prove to the IRS that their figures are incomplete/wrong every year.
+1

In the USA you are innocent until proven guilty, except when it comes to the IRS and SEC.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:51 AM   #31
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Amen. The IRS pushes e-filing as being easier, more accurate, and saving the government money, so why not make it free? Because (IIRC) the IRS cut a deal with tax prep software makers not to make their own govt efile system but instead to use the commercial system(s) that belong to the software makers. It's simply a way to offer them a govt-sanctioned monopoly. And giving away free tax-filing to low-income folks just adds insult to injury--what kind of cr*p is that? Make it easy and free for low income people to comply with a government mandate, but everyone else will be forced to pay postage or buy software? If e-filing saves taxpayers money, why doesn't the government make it free and convenient for everyone to do it?

I've filed on paper before as my own little rebellious (and futile) "stick-it-to-the-man" gesture.
As much as I like and support eFile/paperless, I do agree with this aspect. I eFile because I get it free "at no charge" from Vanguard with TurboTax. I also get a free State package, but not state eFiling. So I dutifully fill an envelope with state forms and send it in at the last possible minute vs paying the state $15 for something that has to be much easier for the state...go figure. My futile gesture.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:54 AM   #32
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If the IRS is collecting data in paperless fashion from all sources, it should be a simple matter for their computer to total my numbers, and send me a bill for whatever I owe. If there are certain non-reported elements, such as deductable expenses, I can file just that data. Now THAT's what I'd call paperless.
Or maybe simplify the tax code. But I'm not holding my breath...
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:56 AM   #33
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+1

In the USA you are innocent until proven guilty, except when it comes to the IRS, SEC and DW
One minor change...
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:12 AM   #34
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I am all for the IRS or any government agency improving efficiency and reducing costs, now more important than ever with our deficits.
I don't know when I've ever seen a government agency's budget go down, so as far as reducing costs, where does that show up?
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:22 AM   #35
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I don't know when I've ever seen a government agency's budget go down, so as far as reducing costs, where does that show up?
I agree it feels that way, and I assume you're kidding so just a few...
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:20 PM   #36
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I am willing to go paperless when filing my 1040 when the IRS is willing to go paperless in their restrooms.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:38 PM   #37
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I am willing to go paperless when filing my 1040 when the IRS is willing to go paperless in their restrooms.
funny you should say that... waterless urinals are the new craze around here (environmental plaques and all)
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:56 PM   #38
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I would do the e-filing if the IRS and state gave me a free software package to do it. As close as I can tell, I need to pay somebody to e-file (at least for the state form). That doesn't seem right.
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Amen. The IRS pushes e-filing as being easier, more accurate, and saving the government money, so why not make it free?
IRS does provide a free way to efile: www.freefilefillableforms.com

You don't need to print anything out to snail-mail...
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:15 PM   #39
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IRS does provide a free way to efile: www.freefilefillableforms.com

You don't need to print anything out to snail-mail...
This would be useful to the small number of people still using paper forms but who also are comfortable with using computers and the internet. It won't do anything for the majority of folks who do their own taxes using TurboTax, HR Block At Home, Tax Act, etc. Nobody is going to re-type everything into those IRS forms.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:48 PM   #40
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GrayHare nailed it! Government has all of our numbers on computer, so why not just send us a bill or mail us a check? Definitely need some type of tax reform--Hope we get it by the time my grandkids are filing so they don't have to go through this crap once a year.
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