2016 Income Tax Status

sengsational

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I e-Filed federal just now.

I thought it might be interesting to have a place to make note of what's going on with people as they run through the tax gauntlet this season.

I got H&R Block software back in November so I could get things figured out (how much more I could pull from IRA/401k and still be where I wanted to be on MAGI). The November software could not be used to file, though, and they promised an update on January 1st. That didn't happen. Came through today, though.

Normally I wouldn't be in a big hurry, but this year I pulled from my 401k and they had a mandatory 20% federal withholding, and I basically owe no tax, so a sizable refund is due.

Being an early filer had a few obstacles, but none were impassable. None of the usual forms in the mail, so needed to determine the contents of those by other means.

  • My 401k fiduciary could not provide me with their own Federal Payer ID! I was on chat with someone who had no more access that I have on the web. We need an entire thread dedicated to how lame call centers have become. I finally found the company's W9 on line.
  • Called healthcare.gov to find out what the "marketplace assigned policy number" was. Again, the call center person was not equipped to answer a simple question that they should have a ready answer for. But luckily a call to the actual issuer of the policy resolved the marketplace assigned policy number problem. But after all of that, the dang number did not appear anywhere on the printed forms! Not sure if an e-file would have blown-up without that number.
  • I planned-ahead for this year and recorded the second lowest cost silver plan, but you can also look that up on hc.gov or KFF.
  • Going on to the various financial web sites let me capture the data that shows on 1099-B, 1099-INT and things like that.
  • There was a really awesome site that let me get the 1099-INT and 1099-OID for treasury TIPS. That would have been a show-stopper without that site.


I didn't mean to make this post so much about how to file your taxes before you get all of the stuff in the mail!

So more about did you find a deal on tax software by waiting until after the first? Have you installed software. Waiting on that one thing from some laggard document issuer? Filed and waiting? Check or direct deposit (I went with the check since it was 21 days for direct deposit vs 3 or 4 weeks for mailing, and there's no confusion about routing numbers and accounts with a paper check). Anything else dealing with the process.
 
I didn't think the IRS was accepting returns until later this month and even then your refund wouldn't be forthcoming for 4-6 weeks.

If I file by April 1st, I consider that early filing.
 
I didn't mean to make this post so much about how to file your taxes before you get all of the stuff in the mail!
Right! I don't normally even try to get organized about taxes until January 31st. By that time, I have usually received (or can chase down, or download) all the paperwork I will need to do my return.

So more about did you find a deal on tax software by waiting until after the first? Have you installed software. Waiting on that one thing from some laggard document issuer? Filed and waiting? Check or direct deposit (I went with the check since it was 21 days for direct deposit vs 3 or 4 weeks for mailing, and there's no confusion about routing numbers and accounts with a paper check).
I bought Turbotax Deluxe (federal, state, and federal efile), CD version from Amazon in December when it dropped from $49.85 to $39.85. This little splurge makes doing taxes less painful for me, so it is worth it to me. I have not even opened it yet. I prefer direct deposit, always have. I don't like relying on the Postal Service.

Anything else dealing with the process.
Anything? OK... >:D

Once I get it done, I'll have a better idea of what estimated tax payments to schedule with EFTPS.

Also, after I file I'll be able to adjust my final spending total for 2016, to reflect my refund (or, heaven forbid, payment).

One of the great advantages of our low interest rates these days, is that we can pretty much file whenever we want without worrying about whether we are earning interest on the payment (or refund). It's not going to amount to much.

Louisiana has been taking a couple of months longer than the IRS, to send refunds. So, this year I tried to cut it pretty close with Louisiana, so that I don't worry so much about whether it somehow been sucked into a black hole while in transit. We'll see how that works out. :blush:
 
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I didn't think the IRS was accepting returns until later this month and even then your refund wouldn't be forthcoming for 4-6 weeks.
That's not good news! The Block software said:

The IRS accepts or rejects most returns in 6-8 hours, but may take up to 48 hours.
They may have a different definition of "accept", though. I'll keep checking the e-file status and report back what it says.
 
I really can't fill most of mine until I get my 1099 composites so I know what divys are qualified or not. So no real point to rush it. I fill it bit by bit as it comes in. I will wait a bit before they are due in case they have corrections. Most years they will adjust some numbers. I should be close on my tax estimates and quarterly payments.

maybe not optimal..
 
Also, after I file I'll be able to adjust my final spending total for 2016, to reflect my refund (or, heaven forbid, payment).
I was wondering if anyone did this kind of "accrual" or otherwise adjust. I didn't/haven't, but probably should have, if I wanted to be more accurate.
 
That's not good news! The Block software said:

They may have a different definition of "accept", though. I'll keep checking the e-file status and report back what it says.

Per the IRS, the earliest efile acceptance date is 1/19/2017. I have no idea what it means that Block apparently accepted your return 2 weeks early. Maybe they stage them on their servers and transfer them all on the 19th?

https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/2016-tax-season-opens-jan-19-for-nations-taxpayers
 
I really can't fill most of mine until I get my 1099 composites so I know what divys are qualified or not. So no real point to rush it. I fill it bit by bit as it comes in.
Really no reason to rush it unless they're holding a bunch of your money.

About qualified dividends, that was reported for the one I got back in June, on the Fidelity site.

One reason to rush it is to get your filing in before the hackers file it for you >:D

But the good(ish) news is that in order to e-file this time, I had to enter my drivers license number for both me and DW. Kind of invasive, but I figure they've got that info anyway. They know everything.
 
I was wondering if anyone did this kind of "accrual" or otherwise adjust. I didn't/haven't, but probably should have, if I wanted to be more accurate.

I need to go back and look at past years, to figure out if I have done this in the past or not. I think consistency is important (so that I don't count a big refund twice, for example).

Probably I will find out that this is what I have been doing each year. I am pretty sure that I adjusted the annual spending after I know the exact amount of taxes, corrected my spreadsheet totals, and then went back and corrected my posts here if I talked about it.
 
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Per the IRS, the earliest efile acceptance date is 1/19/2017. I have no idea what it means that Block apparently accepted your return 2 weeks early.

Looks like returns are accepted beginning Jan. 23.
All they did was let me submit the return and tell me that the IRS usually responds within a few hours, or 48 hours at the outside. It might be I'll wait a few weeks instead before I get the "accepted" message.
 
I usually do my taxes (at least a first cut, pending receipt of the actual documents) on New Years Day, although I don't file them until late March or early April (since I always owe). I still file in hard copy by mail.
 
I second the comment that HR Block is likely stockpiling the returns and will submit them when the IRS systems open up later this month.

-gauss
 
I have a spreadsheet which contains a skeleton version of my income tax forms. As estimated data becomes known data, I update it throughout the year. I need to do this so I can figure out my estimate tax payments, as I make them only in the 4th quarter a the end of the year or early into the next year (meaning, NOW or late last month).


But I still need to know a few things before I can finalize my numbers. For the federal return, I need the 1099s so I will know the Qualified Dividends. I need the 1098 for my deductible mortgage interest and property taxes. I also need the 1095 form from my health insurer so I can determine the ACA subsidy. On my state return, I need the percentage of dividend income in my national muni-bond fund from my home state so I can exclude it from my state income. These things come out at various times in January although my estimates of them are usually pretty close.
 
I have mutual funds that have paid foreign taxes. These will be listed on 1099-DIV when those are issued and perhaps corrected once or twice.

Since the OP mentioned 1099-B, then they must have had a taxable brokerage account and that will usually mean a 1099-DIV. I cannot imagine that anything on a web site has accurate numbers for ETFs and mutual fund QDI and foreign taxes. I can guess that if one did not have any funds, then the stock dividends would be easy to see and QDI percentage would be the same as last year.

I must say this whole thread gives new meaning to "jumping the gun."

I did create a 2016 tax return in late December so that I could decide on a number for a Roth conversion. I think I got my AGI within about $500 of the actual AGI that will be known when I know the foreign taxes. I just estimated them as the same as last year.
 
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Usually there are updates to tax software as users find and report bugs. I fear filing very early will only lead to me needing to file an amendment that reflects changes arising from software fixes.
 
I was wondering if anyone did this kind of "accrual" or otherwise adjust. I didn't/haven't, but probably should have, if I wanted to be more accurate.
I only track after tax annual spending, so income taxes don't get assigned to a specific year.

What it does impact is current year funds available for spending. After the withdrawal I set aside funds for Q4 2916 estimated taxes, Final 2016 taxes, and the first 3 quarters 2017 estimated taxes. I make a guess Dec 31, but don't get the final answer until we file our taxes. So the set aside may get tweaked a vi.

End of Jan is the earliest Fidelity has qualified dividend info for many of my non-Fido funds. But I still need the 1099s to finish.

We've moved up filing time to beginning of March, but that's the earliest we seem to be able to do it.
 
Last year, Taxact released preliminary tax software in the Fall for those who had prepaid in May. This year, preliminary tax software wasn't released until around mid-December. Final won't be released until mid to late January per TA. 1099's aren't available yet from VG anyway.

Last year, I remember filing Federal late January, but couldn't file State until some time in February because California didn't make tax forms available until then.
 
Wow, I've got to admit to total surprise that folks on this forum are considering filing so early, very little upside and a whole lot of downside.

The announced date for the Fed system to start actively pulling returns is Jan 23. They will be just sitting on a server for several weeks. But you can't pull it back to make any corrections, the returns are out of your reach. Much more likely to need to file an amended return if numbers are not correct, or wait for the IRS nasty letter in about 18 months, with penalties and interest. Just not worth it.

The IRS is requiring employers to submit electronic copies of W2s by Jan 31 this year and there will be much more early matching of your figures to the W2s to reduce fraud. If a discrepancy, expect refunds to be dragged out while investigating. Why call unnecessary attention to yourself by being impatient?

This time of year, I spend some time on a TurboTax forum and one of the most common current issues is folks trying to file with the final paystub from last year, filing and then getting a tax document they forgot about, and how to amend, but that software won't be available until mid Feb.
 
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I have mutual funds that have paid foreign taxes. These will be listed on 1099-DIV when those are issued and perhaps corrected once or twice...
and also dividends from foreign stocks that I own. It is true that my brokerages usually send out corrected 1099-DIV forms after the first one.

I owe taxes, so see no reason to rush. If a hacker files in my name, will he have to pay the taxes for me? :)
 
When I worked for Block we would store the early returns on a server and the intent was they would be first in line in the que when the IRS started accepting returns. The problem that seemed to happen year after year was the IRS system would crash the first day they started accepting returns and sometimes returns would be acknowledged as accepted but in reality were lost in cyberspace. Could be very frustrating trying to explain that to a client that was counting on their money on a certain day and it didn't show up.
 
I made a first cut by using the 2015 software and including estimates of everything for 2016. I can't really file early because I need to download transactions from the brokerages and some of those aren't available till early February. In the meantime I created some dummy 1099-DIV and -INT forms and summary capital gain and loss items so I have a rough idea of where I stand. I'll owe a ton thanks to capital gains, but owed zero last year so there should be no penalty.


Not looking forward to 2017, tax-wise. I will file as Single and that's going to have a major effect on the taxes.
 
I haven't received any 1099s yet, nor ordered any forms. I need to pay 4Q2016 state taxes next week.

I don't use any filing SW, I do everything by hand/paper. From my point of view, that forces me to READ the instructions and regulations and understand what I am doing. I'm not sure what advantage filing SW would provide,other than eliminating any math errors. But then again, I haven't tried any.

Interesting thread discussion. :)

_B
 
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