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Fed. Income Tax: FreeFile Fillable Forms

Old 02-28-10, 12:38 PM
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Fed. Income Tax: FreeFile Fillable Forms

Has anyone ever used these? I must have missed the announcement last year (2008 tax year) when they were first offered.

I've been reading up on them and they sound really good. First they are free. I've always said they can kiss my ass if they think I'll pay more than the cost of a stamp to e-file, so they pass that test.

They look like a paper form (on your monitor screen), you file them in. They can do basic addition/subtraction, but you better be able to read IRS instructions and basically be able to use paper forms. When you are done, you can e-file (or print and mail if you prefer).

There are no income limits and "most" forms are supported.

Last year, I roughed out my taxes, then used printable pdf forms so they were "typed" and readable, and mailed. I may finally be ready to try e-filing.

Mods: Was I in the wrong forum or did you move me? I think this is more of an "Other" than a "Political" thread. If you agree, please move to Other.

Last edited by OldDude; 02-28-10 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 02-28-10, 06:36 PM
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Re: Fed. Income Tax: FreeFile Fillable Forms

I tried this year. It turns out that Social Security has my birth date wrong, and since e-file requires the birth date on your form to match what Social Security this is your birth date, my return was rejected. Evidently this is a fairly common problem.

As for the Turbo Tax service itself, it worked fine. I ran all the numbers myself and came back with the same result it did.
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Old 02-28-10, 07:01 PM
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Re: Fed. Income Tax: FreeFile Fillable Forms

I strongly suggest you take your birth certificate to the nearest Social Security office and get your record corrected.
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Old 02-28-10, 07:09 PM
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Re: Fed. Income Tax: FreeFile Fillable Forms

Yep, I just have to find a day where I can wait in line for a few hours. Changing it now is too late for this filling season, though, so no E-File for me this year.
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Old 02-28-10, 07:21 PM
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Re: Fed. Income Tax: FreeFile Fillable Forms

Originally Posted by Jeremy517 View Post
Yep, I just have to find a day where I can wait in line for a few hours. Changing it now is too late for this filling season, though, so no E-File for me this year.
My SS office accepts appointments, and runs pretty close to the time. I think they only accept walkins one day a week (Friday?). Anyway, appointment is the way to go.
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Old 03-01-10, 01:04 PM
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Re: Fed. Income Tax: FreeFile Fillable Forms

I had a very short wait at the SS office the time I went in as well. Republicans obstructed a bill last year, so I was unable to get my colon checked at the same time.

I couldn't find any FreeFile forms for the ones I had to fill out myself, but I guess it doesn't matter as long as I have an accountant. Hopefully if I take over my own taxes in a couple years these things are commonplace.
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Old 03-01-10, 08:23 PM
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Re: Fed. Income Tax: FreeFile Fillable Forms

The major tax preparers have fought any efforts of the IRS to offer fillable forms that will do even basic calculations, otherwise this would have been available years ago.

The next major fight is about ready returns, which are basically returns that are filled out with all the information the IRS has received from employers and financial institutions already populated so you can just sign and return the form if it is accurate. That will probably take years to get enough political support.
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Old 03-03-10, 12:08 PM
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Re: Fed. Income Tax: FreeFile Fillable Forms

OK, I tried it. You can link to it from the official IRS site, but it is some "alliance of tax preparers" effort. It has NO income limitations, but check that all the forms you need are supported (a lot are). Here is a direct link:
https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/FFA/Gateway.htm

If you want your hand held, buy tax software or go to a tax guy. This is for "real men" who would otherwise do their taxes with pencil, paper, and calculator (final copy in black or blue ink, please). It lets you print a "pretty" copy of your return for your records. You can either mail that paper copy or e-file (you have to fill out an extra page for that, but it really is free). No support for State tax, do that some other way.

Unlike a PDF formers filler, it does some simple math, where you have to add/subtract lines. It does NOT do some things that I think it could. To e-file, you have to type in all info from W2 and 1099R forms, BUT it does NOT add them up and carry the totals to the 1040. Yet when you enter interest dividends, and cap. gains on schedule B and D, it DOES add them all up and carry to the 1040. WTF? You definitely have to compute your own tax, especially if you have Qualifying Dividends or Capital Gains. You will need the worksheets from printed IRS instructions.

You can print your completed return or save a PDF copy of it. You can save it on the site until Oct 20, 2010 (that's a few days after 6 month extension). You set up an account and you can get back in. You can save partial work, and do it in bits and pieces.

TIP: They round everything to whole dollars. If you rough out your taxes first, you should also round everything to whole dollars, or various minor differences will develop. (I didn't do this, trust me, it is a PITA)

In the first post, I said "They can kiss my ass before I pay more than postage to e-file." Well, this saved me that postage. It is no worse than paper forms, and results in a free e-file. On that basis, I like it and would use it again. For assistance, it is clearly not in the same league as TurboTax Deluxe, or similar programs.
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