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Electronic Filing Taxes Question
Old 03-25-2021, 08:25 PM   #1
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Electronic Filing Taxes Question

I have been doing our taxes manually for years and mailing in our returns with return receipt. Last year they received our filing and cashed our check. A few months later they contacted us and said they didnít get our return. I made a copy and resent. Iíve already completed our taxes and we owe $ again (as planned). However, Iíve read that they are really behind on paper returns and encouraging e-filing. We canít do Efile through IRS due to exceeding their adjusted gross income limit. So, am considering TurboTax. I donít need any help, just want to input numbers on the three forms, send and be done. We have a simple return. Is this possible with TT or will it walk me through the entire process?
It seems most people on this forum use TT, so interested in getting your input.

Thank you!
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Old 03-25-2021, 08:56 PM   #2
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There is a forms mode in TT. I've gone into a form before to correct something when I couldn't figure out how to answer the questions to get TT to fill it in correctly. I haven't tried to just go in and fill out the forms from the beginning so not sure if you can.
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Old 03-25-2021, 08:58 PM   #3
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If you use the installable version of TT, as opposed to the web version, you can press Ctrl+2 to get to forms mode and fill out whatever forms and data you want. It may make you do a few worksheets in addition to the forms before you can e-file though. Sometimes the IRS has extra requirements on an e-file that you might not see on a paper return.

Even if you use Interview mode, you don't have to walk through everything. You can always select "I'll choose what to work on" for income and deductions. So, for example, you don't have to go through the W-2 entry screens if you only have 1099-Rs.
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Old 03-25-2021, 09:25 PM   #4
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You could also use Free Fillable Forms, which is 100% free to e-file federal. It doesn't support state, and you have to do all the entry and math and check for limits and things like that. It doesn't have the most confidence-inducing user interface, but it does work just fine if all you want is to put some numbers on three forms, as you said.
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Old 03-25-2021, 11:04 PM   #5
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I use H&R block, but I'm sure TT is similar.
Even going through the "interview" would be pretty quick for someone knowing taxes and only having 3 forms to fill out.

The other trick with tax software is they use fear to upsell to a higher more costly version. TT did years ago, not provide a form unless folks upgraded, but the backlash made them change their marketing mind, and they probably don't do that anymore.

As far as I have found, H&R Block has all the forms available in all the personal tax versions, but the interview process varies depending upon the version.
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Old 03-26-2021, 06:52 AM   #6
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I haven't made the switch from manual forms yet either. I typically plan to owe something less than $1000, and the IRS has always cashed my checks within a couple of days of receipt. Seems strange that they would lose the tax forms (after cashing your check) so guess this gives me something else to consider as I continue to resist electronic filing.
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Old 03-26-2021, 07:42 AM   #7
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I have been using TT for years. One of the nice things is that when you do next year's taxes, it carries forward all the basic data you entered this year.
All we have are 1099's, and it pulls forward the names of all the previous payees, so all you have to do is enter the numbers from the 1099's. The same is true if you had W-2's.
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog View Post
..... We canít do Efile through IRS due to exceeding their adjusted gross income limit.....
I always e-file through Free File Fillable Forms at the IRS site.
I don't believe there is an upper income limit, provided you just want to use the forms and file electronically with essentially zero help filling out the forms.
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:15 AM   #9
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On TT you choose if you want the interview or you can choose the option of selecting your own forms
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:21 AM   #10
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In TT, once you have the basic taxpayer information set up, it will have a screen that asks if you want to do the "interview" process or if you want to "choose what I work on" or some words similar to those. Even in the "choose what I work on" mode, it will do the interview for that section, but will skip the items that you do not select to work on. Or you can go to forms mode and input the information.


I use the download version, the online may be a little different, I don't know. Also TT will have a charge to e-file your state return of $25, whole federal is included with the TT purchase.
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:26 AM   #11
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FWIW, I tried to e-file from the H&R Block software and, to do so, I had to authenticate (I guess) by entering our last-year taxable income. I had the form right in front of me, typed in the number, and was told that IRS had rejected the filing because my number didnít match theirs. I just put everything in the mail. They owe us and I left it as a payment on current year taxes, so I don't expect to hear anything back. So there may be not pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.
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Old 03-26-2021, 09:08 AM   #12
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With TT they asked me for drivers license info to prove identity. Not a big deal, but if you e-file you will have to enter that also.

My experience with TT is to do the interview part, know it takes a bit longer and more questions than forms but I normally get some help from my friend Jameson and he smooths out the irritations.


I'll be looking for that postcard return till the day I don't file any more. Wouldn't that be nice.
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Old 03-26-2021, 09:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Lakedog View Post
I haven't made the switch from manual forms yet either. I typically plan to owe something less than $1000, and the IRS has always cashed my checks within a couple of days of receipt. Seems strange that they would lose the tax forms (after cashing your check) so guess this gives me something else to consider as I continue to resist electronic filing.
A few years ago I attended a talk by an IRS rep where they described how tax returns are processed. They had a flow chart and a video. Basically the very first thing they do is separate your check from the return and cash it. The second thing they do is take your paper return and turn it into an e-file return. Then they send the paper to an archive facility and continue to work with the e-file.

Last year they had a skeleton staff that kept opening returns with payments and cashing the checks (they know which envelopes have money because you send to a different address if you owe), but the processing step didn't happen due to Covid staffing restrictions. It's seems possible that there's a batch of returns that got put aside somewhere and hasn't been relocated, or one that got mislabled and sent to the archives without ever having been processed.
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Old 03-26-2021, 10:00 AM   #14
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If you want to stick with paper filing, why not file for the automatic extension and send the check with it? Re: TT, as at least one other replied, TT allows you to skip the "interview" and just go directly to the forms you want to complete.
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Old 03-26-2021, 01:15 PM   #15
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Maybe some year the IRS will get its act together and offer directly an online way to file taxes regardless of income or complexity similar to TurboTax. Then they wouldn't have to pay all the people at taxpayer expense to convert the numbers from paper files into their electronic system. They could even give you your return with many of the numbers that they already know, prefilled in. That would be way too efficient, though.
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Old 03-26-2021, 02:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldShooter View Post
FWIW, I tried to e-file from the H&R Block software and, to do so, I had to authenticate (I guess) by entering our last-year taxable income. I had the form right in front of me, typed in the number, and was told that IRS had rejected the filing because my number didnít match theirs. I just put everything in the mail. They owe us and I left it as a payment on current year taxes, so I don't expect to hear anything back. So there may be not pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.
When I use H&R Block, it already has last years AGI number pre-filled in.
I do an import from the previous year, which prefills in all the banks/brokerages basic information as well.
Maybe you started fresh or didn't import ?
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Old 03-26-2021, 03:20 PM   #17
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Maybe some year the IRS will get its act together and offer directly an online way to file taxes regardless of income or complexity similar to TurboTax. ...
The problem is not the IRS. They would do that if the paid tax preparers and tax software vendors had not purchased so many senators and congresscritters. The IRS has tried.

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When I use H&R Block, it already has last years AGI number pre-filled in. ...
Yup. My H&R Block did that too. The IRS didn't like the number so I tried typing it in again. Still no joy.
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Old 03-26-2021, 07:13 PM   #18
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There is a forms mode in TT. I've gone into a form before to correct something when I couldn't figure out how to answer the questions to get TT to fill it in correctly. I haven't tried to just go in and fill out the forms from the beginning so not sure if you can.
yes, you can...at least you could. i haven't used 'Forms Mode' in several years.
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:48 PM   #19
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Thank you everyone. Your responses have been very helpful!
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Old 03-26-2021, 10:42 PM   #20
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....
Yup. My H&R Block did that too. The IRS didn't like the number so I tried typing it in again. Still no joy.
This would make me wonder if someone has already filed a return in your name (SSN) ?
As I've filed 2 returns so far with the last years prefilled number and a lot of other people have so it does work.
If this prefill didn't work, lots of folks would be complaining about it.

I'm assuming you didn't file a 1040x last yr.
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