Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
IRS Going Paperless?
Old 02-21-2012, 07:13 AM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Naples
Posts: 2,161
IRS Going Paperless?

Had our 2011 income taxes done yesterday. There is a group tax help here in our community where everyone can get their taxes done free. It is sponsored by AARP and all the workers are volunteers. The final document is reviewed by onsite AARP certified professionals. Nice service and the thing that kind of got me was how everything has to be done by efile. We ended up owing $714. I thought they would print out the return, we would take it home, write a check and mail it in. They insisted we efile the return and do a debit from our checking account at least by April 15. 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.

Was wondering going forward, how a paperless system will work for all the filers out there that still don't use TaxAct or Turbo Tax or some other system. I guess people that aren't computer savy will have to get their taxes done by someone.
__________________

__________________
JOHNNIE36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-21-2012, 07:35 AM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: dubuque
Posts: 618
I think they want to go paperless, but to make everyone efile is going to be difficult. I pay my estimated taxes with a paper check and a form every 3 months and it wasn't clearing my checking account for quite a while and I thought it might have gotten lost in the mail, so, I called the state revenue office and they said I should be doing online payments instead of paper. they pretty much said that they prefer online taxes and payments, but as yet don't require it. The free tax software and efiling is great right now, because it is free and quite easy. Once they get everyone going in that direction free will be a thing of the past, just like the paper forms. Even now if your taxes are somewhat complicated you have to buy the software, update it annually, and pay for efile to the state. I think that efiling saves the government tons of money, but does little for the taxpayer.
__________________

__________________
frank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 07:45 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,867
I don't think the IRS can ever go totally paperless. There are people who live in the middle of nowhere or are physically unable to access others or a PC to file electronically. And thanks to those people, others like me who have no desire to file electronically will still be able to file the same way I have since the mid-1980s, with pen and paper no matter how complicated those taxes have been.
__________________
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 08:19 AM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
prototype's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 173
JMHO - if the IRS goes paperless there will be alot of people that just won't file, mostly lower income people. Hopefully they'll be smart enough to put alot of Federal deductions on their W-4.I was so iritated with Intuit/TT and now the IRS and Federal Govt's 4 billion page tax code, I had been thinking about going back to the old paper filing next year.

A little off topic - I went to paper filing my Virginia Tax return for 2010 and 2011 after the State's lawmakers decided to eliminate what was called the Ifile system and require to use one of the commercial electronic services or file by paper. Ifile was free for everyone and simple to use, and I had used it for years. The commercial services are free depending on your income level. Anyway I was so P'O'ed, I filed paper even though I had my one "free" TT state return. Sort of a rebellion statement especially after reading about the lobbying effort/dollars that went into getting Va. to eliminate their Ifile system.
__________________
prototype is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 08:54 AM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
Had our 2011 income taxes done yesterday. There is a group tax help here in our community where everyone can get their taxes done free. It is sponsored by AARP and all the workers are volunteers. The final document is reviewed by onsite AARP certified professionals. Nice service and the thing that kind of got me was how everything has to be done by efile. We ended up owing $714. I thought they would print out the return, we would take it home, write a check and mail it in. They insisted we efile the return and do a debit from our checking account at least by April 15. 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.

Was wondering going forward, how a paperless system will work for all the filers out there that still don't use TaxAct or Turbo Tax or some other system. I guess people that aren't computer savy will have to get their taxes done by someone.
what if you get audited?
I e-file every year but I can print out my returns (TT)
__________________
SJ1_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 09:07 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,820
I'm still filing on paper.

But I use the fillable pdf files the IRS provides. I assume that when the paper hits their office they read the numbers into a data file with a machine, make an image of the paper, then throw away the paper.

I do the same for the state. With the state, the hardest part might have been trying to find the mailing address. They hid it behind 3 screens worth of promotions for e-filing.

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.
__________________
Independent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 10:32 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,974
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrabbler1 View Post
I don't think the IRS can ever go totally paperless. There are people who live in the middle of nowhere or are physically unable to access others or a PC to file electronically. And thanks to those people, others like me who have no desire to file electronically will still be able to file the same way I have since the mid-1980s, with pen and paper no matter how complicated those taxes have been.
I hope the IRS does go paperless, way more efficient for all concerned.

And "physically unable to access others or a PC" isn't going to be workable forever. Lots of people use PC's at libraries already. I am sure there were people who never wanted to get a phone, or get a car long ago. Eventually those people have to get on board, or make their own provisions to comply...
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 10:34 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,888
Going paperless is okay, until one spots a mistake. Then a paper copy is needed to scrutinize the error
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 10:41 AM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
ratto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJ1_ View Post
what if you get audited?
Maybe from the perspective of IRS, this is an unintended but desirable ramification of e-filing?

Without good paper files and all supporting paper documents in hand, nobody stands a chance to challenge IRS in the US federal tax court. We have already seen paperless bank notes can be created out of thin air in these days. The SS statement is also on the same wagon. I don't know what's going to be the next. But I do know that the burden of proof is on me if there is any dispute down the road. So at least I plan to keep all my pay stubs till my SS and medicare kick in. You will never know.
__________________
ratto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 10:44 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rustward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,572
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratto View Post
So at least I plan to keep all my pay stubs till my SS and medicare kick in. You will never know.
Just so you know, many employers have gone electronic (paperless) with their pay stubs.
__________________
Rustward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 10:49 AM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,888
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJ1_ View Post
what if you get audited?
I e-file every year but I can print out my returns (TT)
+1. I too efile each year with TT. But print out a hard copy and save my returns to a PDF file for future reference if needed.
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 11:12 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I hope the IRS does go paperless, way more efficient for all concerned.

And "physically unable to access others or a PC" isn't going to be workable forever. Lots of people use PC's at libraries already. I am sure there were people who never wanted to get a phone, or get a car long ago. Eventually those people have to get on board, or make their own provisions to comply...
I disagree. What about the growing number of elderly and disabled who can't drive and may not be able to access or own a PC? The only way they can get tax forms is to write the IRS or call a toll-free phone number and get the forms mailed to them to complete themselves. And we tell PC users all the time not to use public ones for doing very personal tasks such as banking. I would not suggest to anyone to e-file at a public library's PC.

Telling them to "get on board of make their own provisions to comply" seems pretty cold-hearted and insensitive to me......

Paper returns may continue to decline but they are not going anywhere any time soon.
__________________
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 11:40 AM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,974
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrabbler1 View Post
I disagree. What about the growing number of elderly and disabled who can't drive and may not be able to access or own a PC? The only way they can get tax forms is to write the IRS or call a toll-free phone number and get the forms mailed to them to complete themselves. And we tell PC users all the time not to use public ones for doing very personal tasks such as banking. I would not suggest to anyone to e-file at a public library's PC.

Telling them to "get on board of make their own provisions to comply" seems pretty cold-hearted and insensitive to me......

Paper returns may continue to decline but they are not going anywhere any time soon.
I don't know when, but not "any time soon" is probably right.

The elderly have always needed and gotten assistance where needed, we have to provide for DW's elderly Mom right now. There are just things she can't or won't do for herself, just a fact of life.

I would never use a library PC for my taxes either, but there are folks who regularly use library PC's for Internet access including transactions at my local library now. And many people are doing their returns online now, something I'm afraid of myself (I download TT to my PC, though I do eFile like 70% of filers - read on haha's thread).

Was it "cold-hearted and insensitive" to expect people to give up horses for cars? Slide rules for calculators? Word of mouth for telephones? Mail for internet? I didn't mean the elderly need to change ASAP, but societal norms do change over time...that's all I was pointing out, sorry you were offended.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 11:50 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I don't know when, but not "any time soon" is probably right. The elderly have always needed and gotten assistance where needed, we have to provide for DW's elderly Mom right now. There are just things she can't or won't do for herself, just a fact of life.

I would never use a library PC for my taxes either, but there are folks who regularly use library PC's for Internet access including transactions at my local library now. And many people are doing their returns online now, something I'm afraid of myself (I download TT to my PC, though I do eFile like 70% of filers).

Was it cold-hearted and insensitive to expect people to give up horses for cars? Slide rules for calculators? Word of mouth for telephones? Mail for internet? I didn't mean the elderly need to change ASAP, but societal norms do change over time...
The difference between your list of questions about being cold-hearted and insensitive is that none of those are required by law, with penalties for failure to comply. But filing a tax return is required unless one meets some very specific conditions. So making that required task so needlessly difficult for some people (such as your MIL) to the extent that it becomes impossible is IMHO cold-hearted and insensitive.
__________________
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 12:15 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,930
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJ1_ View Post
what if you get audited?
I e-file every year but I can print out my returns (TT)
AARP Tax Aide clients get a paper copy for their files even tho the return
itself is e-filed.
__________________
kaneohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 12:19 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,974
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrabbler1 View Post
The difference between your list of questions about being cold-hearted and insensitive is that none of those are required by law, with penalties for failure to comply. But filing a tax return is required unless one meets some very specific conditions. So making that required task so needlessly difficult for some people (such as your MIL) to the extent that it becomes impossible is IMHO cold-hearted and insensitive.
I don't think you can legally ride a horse to work, shopping, etc. any more - I am sure there would be penalties if you did. Though not legally required, not having a phone wouldn't exempt you from any number of tasks that require a phone, so access is virtually required.

I am all for the IRS or any government agency improving efficiency and reducing costs, now more important than ever with our deficits. Going paperless isn't "needlessly difficult" either IMHO, so we disagree, no problem...
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 12:34 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Free To Canoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cooksburg,PA
Posts: 1,738
The IRS is a little more stick than carrot. They require that you include a speical form if you paper file.
__________________
Free to canoe
Free To Canoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 12:47 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Free To Canoe View Post
The IRS is a little more stick than carrot. They require that you include a speical form if you paper file.
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.
__________________
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 02:11 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,888
I know it's a matter of choice. For me I e-file because IMHO it's more convenient. I'd much rather sit in front of my computer and check my email than physically go to the post office or look for a scale for proper postage.
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2012, 03:07 PM   #20
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,851
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I don't think you can legally ride a horse to work, shopping, etc. any more...
Might be, if gas gets too expensive!
__________________

__________________
rescueme is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Phone solicitations going robotic Lsbcal Other topics 70 01-23-2013 02:29 PM
Going bankrupt on $10M per year farmerEd FIRE and Money 33 07-31-2012 11:43 AM
Going, Going, Gone? CitizenK Hi, I am... 24 04-10-2012 05:00 PM
I thought OC was going to fix this? teejayevans Health and Early Retirement 1 01-24-2012 09:17 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:50 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.