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Old 02-19-2018, 07:00 PM   #41
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The premier version? I can't do deluxe.
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Old 02-19-2018, 07:02 PM   #42
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It is safer in my opinion to file on paper. That way you are not needlessly providing a copy of your return to an intermediary, which could be hacked.
My guess would be that the IRS outsources scanning of paper returns. Your risk then is not only that it does get on line, but a 3rd party is handling your return.
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Old 02-19-2018, 07:02 PM   #43
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The premier version? I can't do deluxe.
Yes.
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Old 02-19-2018, 07:02 PM   #44
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Oh my! Still cheaper than my old CPA. Phone app was only $85 for both IRS & FTB (CA tax)
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:29 PM   #45
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This page has a link to a short video showing a very broad overview of what happens to paper returns:

https://www.irsvideos.gov/Profession...essingPipeline

All this processing (much of it manual) is bypassed when you e-file.

Love those 3270 terminal emulators. Mainframes forever!
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:02 PM   #46
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This page has a link to a short video showing a very broad overview of what happens to paper returns:

https://www.irsvideos.gov/Profession...essingPipeline

All this processing (much of it manual) is bypassed when you e-file.

Love those 3270 terminal emulators. Mainframes forever!
Thanks! Great video. I recall years (many of them!) ago I worked a second job during one tax season for a 3rd party vendor who worked with the returns. Too long ago to remember the details, but it looks like the IRS has brought everything in house.
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:28 PM   #47
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My guess would be that the IRS outsources scanning of paper returns. Your risk then is not only that it does get on line, but a 3rd party is handling your return.
Could be I suppose, but I have never heard of identity theft in that manner. But there have been quite a few reports of tax intermediaries getting hacked.

Also, e-filed returns have higher audit risk according the the WSJ.

Keeping your info-rich tax returns out of the cloud and away from intermediaries is well worth a trip to the post office, in.my view.
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:52 PM   #48
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Why would you have to take the paper return to the post office? It is roughly 5 sheets of paper for one stamp by weight.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:00 PM   #49
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Why would you have to take the paper return to the post office? It is roughly 5 sheets of paper for one stamp by weight.
You don't have to. Mine is a few more pages than that. But I am not going to leave it in a mailbox in any event.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:28 PM   #50
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You want to take it to the post office and send it by certified mail.

You don't need proof of delivery, but you do need proof of filing on time.

That means you get to pay more and stand in line and fill out forms.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:02 PM   #51
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This page has a link to a short video showing a very broad overview of what happens to paper returns:

https://www.irsvideos.gov/Profession...essingPipeline

All this processing (much of it manual) is bypassed when you e-file.

Love those 3270 terminal emulators. Mainframes forever!
The job in that video that amazes me is the lady that just stamps every piece of paper, in rapid succession.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:26 PM   #52
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You want to take it to the post office and send it by certified mail.

You don't need proof of delivery, but you do need proof of filing on time.

That means you get to pay more and stand in line and fill out forms.
Yep. Thank god for eFile and EFTPS!

I hated that quarterly trip to the post office.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:53 PM   #53
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Yep. Thank god for eFile and EFTPS!

I hated that quarterly trip to the post office.
FYI I understand that a number of private mail box places will allow you to mail certified mail, for the appropriate fee. This includes the UPS store, So you might not need to go to the post office to send the forms of if the post office in question is busy.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:57 PM   #54
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FYI I understand that a number of private mail box places will allow you to mail certified mail, for the appropriate fee. This includes the UPS store, So you might not need to go to the post office to send the forms of if the post office in question is busy.
I donít have to go anywhere or mess with any certified mail anymore thank goodness! Been all electronic since 2004/5
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Old 02-20-2018, 07:34 AM   #55
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We're currently dealing with an issue related to the USPS (apparently) losing a piece of mail with a check in it. It showed up in "informed delivery" but not in our mail box. They have no idea what happened except to say that they don't have it. Their recommendation was to send important documents certified mail, although they did admit that certified mail just adds a tracking component and that otherwise the process is the same as first class.

This coincides with a local town hall meeting sponsored by a congressman to address local concerns about poor mail delivery.

Bottom line is I don't know that USPS can be counted on to handle important documents reliably.
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:26 AM   #56
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I have been e-filing for over 18 years without any issues. I use TurboTax or Taxcut (whichever is cheaper).
This.
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Tax preparers are going to be joining travel agents on the endangered jobs list.
Um, no. When you can actually file taxes on a postcard, maybe.
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:49 AM   #57
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Agreed. There are a huge number of people who can’t and won’t prepare their own taxes. It’s too hard.
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:03 AM   #58
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Agreed. There are a huge number of people who canít and wonít prepare their own taxes. Itís too hard.
I think a number of us here are or have been volunteer tax preparers, and it has certainly been my experience that a great many people just throw up their hands and say "It's so complicated I'll never figure it out -- look at all those forms!"

Frankly, I think a big part of that is simply that many people are functionally innumerate. I see that every time I watch a young cashier try to make change. If the register didn't tell them exactly what to give back to the customer they would be there all day trying to work it out.
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:03 AM   #59
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It was only a few years ago that I began using the fillable pdf forms instead of writing all the stuff in by hand. At least on the state (NY) return, the calculations are done automatically which is a nice feature. I print everything out and mail it.


I do tax returns for 3 people including myself - my best friend (the snake-bit male one) and my ladyfriend. Hers is very easy the last 4 years or so, 1040EZ, while my snake-bit one's is a little tougher than mine because he has multiple 1099s and a W-2. Both will become easier starting with the 2018 filing because we will use the SD; I might be able to use 1040A some years.


I dipped my toes into the e-filing pool by e-filing my (annual) estimated tax payments (state and federal) a few years ago. If some fraudster wants to make my estimated tax payment for me, he is welcome to it!
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:21 AM   #60
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I thought I bought with a free e-file from AMZN but apparently this year it did not come with that.

I like to plan before the forms deadlines, as I often itemize, often shift new money from investments to real estate depending on the year. My tax decisions this year will have huge implications next year so I like to plan diligently and early.

This year will be real estate...I think.

I had to pay like $60 for me and $60 for DW and I think I paid $90 for the program, but that cost is split two ways. $165 to do our taxes, and direct deposit into an account within 7-21 days. I don't worry about ID theft mines been thieved many times before.
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