E-filing overwhelms the IRS!

tobr24u(z6 RI)February 13, 2012

So many people are filing early over the Internet that refunds are being delayed. It seems that most are replacing their accountants and filing from home electronically. The middle man accountant may rapidly becoming a thing of the past for all but the 1%. Surely you are an e-filer and putting the pressure on the IRS too...

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youngquinn_gw

yep , sure do. its easy , quick and cheap

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 6:33AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

But how do you e-mail beads and shells?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 6:48AM
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youngquinn_gw

SNORT ! ( dontcha know they are delivered via kangaroo pouches)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:00AM
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jlhug

Please be careful. It is no longer easy, quick and cheap when you get a letter from the IRS.

I just corrected a HUGE mistake on a prior year return that was prepared by the taxpayer on a commercial tax prep program. It was a fairly simple return. Taxpayer owes over $5000 to the IRS and another $1500 to the state in back taxes and interest. Stupid mistake and he blames the software. They are have modest income. Trying to save $100 has cost them far more than that $100.

Every year, our office sees many self prepared returns that are not correct. On most of them, I can amend the self prepared return and get a larger refund for the taxpayer.

If you are going to do your own return, please research any question that isn't 100% clear. Do not rely solely on the Q and A in the software. Do some research and then double check to see if the numbers you enter appear on the correct lines of the return. Double check your data entry (add up all of the box 1s on your W-2 and make sure that number is the same one that appears on line 7 of your 1040). Make sure you've correctly calculated the taxable portion of your retirement. Make sure your Schedule D and Form 8949 are correct. Make sure you haven't doubled up your education expenses (I've seen that happen on more self prepared returns than I want to think about).

If you get a statement from a brokerage house, I would not file a return before the middle of March. Brokerage houses regularly file corrected statements. With the new Schedule D and Form 8949 reporting requirements, I expect even more corrected statements this year.

As more people turn to filing our returns, we find that we are doing more work representing people who are being audited. Since representation work is more lucrative than prep work, I'm not horribly unhappy about the change.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:00AM
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chase_gw

Not me, we always use an accountant. It's not that our filing is all that complicated . It's just worth the $100 not to listen to "himself " go on like a mad man about it.!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:44AM
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jlhug

By the way, the delay in refunds is due to new identity theft detection filters and fraud detection filters, not the volume of returns filed. At least that is what the IRS is telling us.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:48AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

I know a woman who paid an accountant $150 last year who is only charging her $70 this year with no change in her filing materials. He is feeling the competition from people doing their own e-filing...

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:49AM
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labrea_gw

Refund was in my account last week!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:55AM
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jodik_gw

We've always done it ourselves on paper forms, or in the case of more complicated business, taken everything to a trusted family friend who does this for a living.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 8:02AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Wow! I'm checking my account today!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 8:03AM
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demifloyd(8)

Refund? What's that?

I have accountants, but up to my ears in papers preparing everything to take to them.

We've e-filed for years now.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 9:04AM
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rob333

I do efile. It was supposed to be here tomorrow, but it got here last Tuesday instead. The paltry amount I got back (from paying my federally funded student loan), has been in the bank and is already being spent (fixing my car. Still needs $200+ more for it to be at ground level. Could use another $800 worth of work, for the luxury of a window gasket and a heater). I love efiling! It's easier and since my taxes are very straightforward, why pay anyone? I only have my one W2, a little bit of alimony, and the deductions are my student loan, one child, and some donations (that one never makes any difference on taxes, but it's not why I give). Couldn't really be any simpler.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 9:25AM
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vgkg(Z-7)

I'm my own middleman here and file the old fashioned way via pen and paper. Never trusted doing anything related to money management, bills, banking, etc over the internet from it's inception, and never will. Web security is an illusion, just it's a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 9:38AM
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demifloyd(8)

Posted by vgkg 7-Va Tidewater (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 13, 12 at 9:38

I'm my own middleman here and file the old fashioned way via pen and paper. Never trusted doing anything related to money management, bills, banking, etc over the internet from it's inception, and never will. Web security is an illusion, just it's a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

*

I agree with you and I think one day in the next few years we'll be proven right.

I can't make my girls understand to always take cash--when they're traveling one day the gas pumps might not work with their cards (another attack). Cash is a good thing to always have on you.

E filing is the only transaction I routinely do by internet and my accountants actually submit it.

Everything else--the old fashioned way.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 9:47AM
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jlhug

Vgkg, you do realize that when you mail your return someone must input your return into the IRS computers. Every keystroke is an opportunity for someone to misread your handwritten numbers, transpose those numbers or put information on a form you don't have in your originally filed return. Every time someone physically touches your return is an opportunity for it to get lost or for that person to steal data from it. Sorry but I trust the Post Office or the IRS "data input" employees less than I trust the IRS's internet security.

By far the biggest nightmare I have ever had to deal was due to data entry errors by an IRS employee on a return that was mailed in. It took over a year to convince the IRS that it was wrong. And another year to convince the state that the IRS had made a mistake.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 9:52AM
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vgkg(Z-7)

Yes I heard that same argument many times Jlhug, but in the 40+ years I've filed via mail there has never been a problem so I'll stick with that track record rather than switch to the "new & improved" way to file. I'd be more worried about sending my personal data via this electronic route where "leaks" can occur along the way. To each his own....but if I were just starting out in my teens or 20's I'd probably be seduced into the new way of doing things.

Demi, for the record I also avoid :
Debit cards & ATM Machines.

Cash and 1-2 Credit cards are king here. Still paying bills via monthly checks.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 10:20AM
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demifloyd(8)

Posted by vgkg 7-Va Tidewater (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 13, 12 at 10:20

Demi, for the record I also avoid :
Debit cards & ATM Machines.

Cash and 1-2 Credit cards are king here. Still paying bills via monthly checks

*

ME TOO. Don't use an ATM card, debit card, and have two credit cards and pay the complete balance every month.

Don't do anything by Iphone in that regard, either.

I think one day in the future we are going to be saved a lot of headaches.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 10:50AM
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labrea_gw

Yes refund when I purposefully overpay at work so there are no glitches at years end. My mother used to have us do Christmas clubs as kids. I think of it as EDD's Birthday fund!
Only had trouble 20 years ago when I let someone else prepare my taxes after I left the Daily News.
I did it by paper since I was 17 & my father taught me to do my own. I've E filed for the last 3 years!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 11:07AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

Efiling is the shiznit. It's a fairly simple process for most people too, very little chance of a mess up.

Of course, since I've done this since university, it's just a matter of looking at the changes in personal taxes every year. It may seem a lot different to someone who doesn't work in accounting.

jlhug,

There is a huge difference between the IRS and Revenue Canada. My brother and sister in law also efile, and my sister in law made a data entry error on her return. Big mistake in terms of dollar amount. Revenue Canada called her, informed her of the error and verified the correct amounts (she scanned and emailed her slip), then did the correction for her right over the phone. My brother made a mistake on his a few years ago and the same thing happened. Generally people have any fines and penalties waived by Revenue Canada if you contact them or return their call right away about an error.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 11:23AM
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duluthinbloomz4

vgkg - we must be twins separated at birth. I don't pay bills, buy & sell stock, bank, conduct any financial affairs via the internet. I write checks, stamp, and mail them. I probably have enough "Forever" stamps to leave them in my will. (Not quite) Have a few credit cards for emergencies or travel, but pay any charges in full. I'm pretty much on a cash basis.

I've never used an ATM machine; use a debit card and punch the "credit" choice so I don't have to remember pin numbers. Been using that more and more, here and there, to whittle a bit off my checking account.

I don't know when the brokerage account statements - and the usual one or two correcteds - will show up. But when they do, it all goes to the accountant. I just simply don't trust myself to do them. It's worth it to me.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 11:31AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I do mine and three other family members. I keep up with the tax laws and do the best I can. I have been doing my taxes for 30 years. The tax laws are so crazy that even if you have them done by a tax preparer you have a chance of being audited and mistakes can be made.

Ask any tax accountant if any of his clients were ever audited? Did any of them have to pay. If he says never to both questions he is not telling you the truth.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 12:14PM
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pnbrown

efiling is the best thing that has happened for employers in a long time. And when will the irs catch up with the states and let us file 940 and 941 electronically? MA is a snap and then I have to fill those dam things out on paper and snail-mail.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 2:57PM
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david52_gw

I'm at that point right now - finished the Federal taxes and about to efile those, and now can chose to pay those nice people at Quicken $35 more to down load the Colo state tax forms and let the computer fill them out, or save that money and pick up the forms at the Drivers License place, which just happens to be two blocks from the DD middle school, and whose parking lot just happens to be where I wait to pick ol' DD up this afternoon, avoiding the dozen school bus / 178 parental car / 122 kids on bicycles demo derby in front of the school.

That ways, I can bet that $35 on the ponies, and not feel guilty.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 3:26PM
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vgkg(Z-7)

Ha, it's good to know that I'm not the only stone age filer left out there. As for debit cards I could never figure out the advantage of it other than avoiding writing one check per month paying off credit instead. For me it would pose problems of keeping track of the balance and making it too easy to bounce. Just a win-win for the banks. Plus I don't like the idea of direct purchase withdrawing from my account, would rather that debt sat in the credit card limbo for a month before paying it off. Interest isn't your friend unless it's coming in......then it becomes outterest...
...nyuk?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 6:04PM
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jmc01

Anyone who pays you money, vg and crew, efiles your personal info to the government by using 1099 Pro or other simiilar software. The business side of probably most every one of your transactions is electronic. W-2s, 1099s...all electronic!

Don't fool yourselves into thinking you control the privacy around your social security or taxpayer id numbers or addresses. The payor submits it for you.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:23PM
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david52_gw

I did discover that if you have Mac OS 10.7.3, or "Lion", that turbotax quits when you try to print a copy, try to save as a .pdf, try to burn a copy of your return to a disk. And I'm not the only one who has this problem. So beware if you use a Mac and turbotax.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:34PM
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Joe1980(5)

I guess I'm still old school. I sit down and do them the old fashion way....on paper. Then I fold 'em up, put them in an envelope, and mail them out. Same with the monthly bills. The internet doesn't do much for me other then replace the library, and waste my time with useless youtube videos and forum discussions, both of which will go away once the weather gets nice and I can get going on the garden.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:47PM
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