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Unopened Tax Refund Requests

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Regular Contributor

Re: Unopened Tax Refund Requests

I know a few people who are old school. "I've been doing it like this for 30yrs and I don't trust the computers to get it right". In reality probably more likely to have problems going with paper these days.

 

My grandmother ran the books for the family business until her final days. She fought tooth and nail against switching from paper to electronic invoicing. She'd always say how do I know when I click the send button that they got it? What if it gets lost along the way? We'd say how do you know they got the one you mailed them!? Blind unwaivering faith in the U.S. Postal Service apparently. She finally got on board when we showed her it could get us paid faster, and how much we saved on postage. The accountant in her couldn't resist LOL.

Message 11 of 18
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Valued Contributor

Re: Unopened Tax Refund Requests


@Saeren wrote:


Let's be real. We should have moved past having to file tax returns period ages ago. Most countries they do the tax return for you and you only have to file if you have certain deductions.

 

The system we have here is purely due to lobbying by tax preparation companies. In fact the IRS was going to launch their own software to let everyone file their taxes for free when TurboTax and H&R Block lobbied to be able to offer a free product to income under $69K (some offerings are considerably less than that) in exchange for the IRS holding off their own software being released and killing those companies. 

Fortunately the IRS has backtracked from the agreement after TurboTax and others were caught trying to steer people eligible to file for free to paid products and will be developing their own software which is the first step to simplifying taxes in this country finally. 


The idea that filing is free is itself an illusion. I found out long ago TurboTax and its ilk never intended to let anyone not doing a dirt-basic tax return (which as you point out is basically giving the IRS data from a few forms that they already had from employers/banks) for free, and I had held some hope that maybe CK's marketing of a truly free tax return would break that.

 

Well, turns out that that's also an illusion. Tried to file my toddler's tax return with them this year to save on fees from our accountant, because we're talking about a 1 year old here - there's a couple 1099s and that ... is ... it. No W2s, no funny itemized deductions, not even an 8615. Should be a cakewalk. CK can't do any returns for minors under 12 it seems, and the usual suspects immediately threw up the "ohhh, you want to do a kid...that'll be $$$!" wall.

 

The only free option I could find was ... paper filing. Slow clap, IRS, slow clap.

 

Sigh. Ok, done ranting. Carry on.

Message 12 of 18
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Super Contributor

Re: Unopened Tax Refund Requests


@iced wrote:

@Saeren wrote:


Let's be real. We should have moved past having to file tax returns period ages ago. Most countries they do the tax return for you and you only have to file if you have certain deductions.

 

The system we have here is purely due to lobbying by tax preparation companies. In fact the IRS was going to launch their own software to let everyone file their taxes for free when TurboTax and H&R Block lobbied to be able to offer a free product to income under $69K (some offerings are considerably less than that) in exchange for the IRS holding off their own software being released and killing those companies. 

Fortunately the IRS has backtracked from the agreement after TurboTax and others were caught trying to steer people eligible to file for free to paid products and will be developing their own software which is the first step to simplifying taxes in this country finally. 


The idea that filing is free is itself an illusion. I found out long ago TurboTax and its ilk never intended to let anyone not doing a dirt-basic tax return (which as you point out is basically giving the IRS data from a few forms that they already had from employers/banks) for free, and I had held some hope that maybe CK's marketing of a truly free tax return would break that.

 

Well, turns out that that's also an illusion. Tried to file my toddler's tax return with them this year to save on fees from our accountant, because we're talking about a 1 year old here - there's a couple 1099s and that ... is ... it. No W2s, no funny itemized deductions, not even an 8615. Should be a cakewalk. CK can't do any returns for minors under 12 it seems, and the usual suspects immediately threw up the "ohhh, you want to do a kid...that'll be $$$!" wall.

 

The only free option I could find was ... paper filing. Slow clap, IRS, slow clap.

 

Sigh. Ok, done ranting. Carry on.


You have to use the links from the IRS Free File site. https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free

It is truly free. TurboTax limits it to $36K max AGI to get free filing (because TurboTax gonna be TurboTax) but there are other options like TaxSlayer or H&R Block that will allow $69K and under for free. I used the TurboTax option from the IRS page this year and not once did it try to upsell me. Usually their free file lets me file for free and then hits me up for a state but the Free File link actually was totally free for both. 


But that's why the IRS has decided to back out of the agreement they made to not make their own free software - the big companies made it very hard to get the real free product (you couldn't even find TurboTax's on Google) and they were tricking people into paying. 

I also had no idea that people filed taxes for minors that young!




Message 13 of 18
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Senior Contributor

Re: Unopened Tax Refund Requests

Well I can understand paper option, I filed that way for many years. Something about seeing it in print. I also like the ease of efile, but it can take more visual work to find the correct forms to fill out. I don't mind paying a small fee considering the refunds I get, and that somebody has to get paid to file the paperwork. But $35-50 is much better that paying H&R Block $250!

 

In my youth I just did the easy short form, but these days I have to go more in depth. I file via Tax Act because they have the simplest forms for everything i need 1099's etc. It's just much easier than doing it myself and mailing it in. 






Message 14 of 18
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Valued Contributor

Re: Unopened Tax Refund Requests


@Saeren wrote:


You have to use the links from the IRS Free File site. https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free

It is truly free. TurboTax limits it to $36K max AGI to get free filing (because TurboTax gonna be TurboTax) but there are other options like TaxSlayer or H&R Block that will allow $69K and under for free. I used the TurboTax option from the IRS page this year and not once did it try to upsell me. Usually their free file lets me file for free and then hits me up for a state but the Free File link actually was totally free for both. 


But that's why the IRS has decided to back out of the agreement they made to not make their own free software - the big companies made it very hard to get the real free product (you couldn't even find TurboTax's on Google) and they were tricking people into paying. 

I also had no idea that people filed taxes for minors that young!


Didn't check every reference they sent, but after the first 3-4 links on the IRS all gave me the same issue, I threw in the towel and went the easy way out. The problem in each of them is the minor's age, so I guess it's rather unusual for a <1 year old to have enough income to require a tax filing. Most don't know what to do because they're expecting to be interacting with an adult for their own filing (not on behalf of a minor) or have forms that don't have years past 2005 or so (such as CK's free service). Makes filing taxes for someone born in 2019 difficult.

 

We have to file taxes for the child though as the child had income above the maxmimum allowed to not file. When does this happen? Well:

 

  • The child has unearned income (from investment interest, gains, et al.) above $1,100,
  • The child has earned income above $12,200,
  • The child's gross income (earned plus unearned) is greater than the larger of $1,100 or earned income plus $350, or
  • The child's net earnings from self-employment are $400 or more.

 

I'd post a link to Investopedia, though not sure if links to there are allowed here.

Message 15 of 18
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Moderator Emeritus

Re: Unopened Tax Refund Requests

You'd think these days we'd be able to file our taxes on a 3x5 card.  It's just too expensive anyway, I didn't even try to claim business expense deductions for the business insurance I carry this year because it would've cost me more than the deduction is worth.  One extra form, lame, but admittedly I wasn't inclined to do my taxes by hand anyway.

 

Charging what the market will bear I guess just like everyone else (schools, health care, everyone get that money!)

 

 

 




        
Message 16 of 18
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Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Unopened Tax Refund Requests

I currently efile, but this year I did an amended return for 2018 due to my business start up in 2018, and after my tax account ran the numbers, it was worth it to file an amended return for that year because I would be getting back several hundred, which is worth it for me.

Well, you have to file amended returns by paper...so, guess where mine is?? Storage..Smiley Sad   I sent my amended return in by mail 2nd day mail, March 2nd.


My rebuild worked for me, but won't necessarily work for you!
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Message 17 of 18
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Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Unopened Tax Refund Requests


@pizza1 wrote:

I currently efile, but this year I did an amended return for 2018 due to my business start up in 2018, and after my tax account ran the numbers, it was worth it to file an amended return for that year because I would be getting back several hundred, which is worth it for me.

Well, you have to file amended returns by paper...so, guess where mine is?? Storage..Smiley Sad   I sent my amended return in by mail 2nd day mail, March 2nd.


Oh nooooooooo. So sorry pizza1


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