This year, I have to give an organizational award to the IRS. After many years, my paper-filing tax protest has ceased!
You see, for the past several years, I have printed out and mailed my tax return rather than e-File it because I felt that it was wrong to charge people to eFile their returns online. The IRS for many years decided that people of low income levels could eFile for free but everyone else would have to pay one of the designated service providers an e-Filing fee. Meanwhile, you could still paper file your return for free (even though paper-filing costs the government more to process than eFiling). So, frugalista that I am, I paper-filed for years.
A few years ago, the IRS decided that they would provide the Free File Fillable Forms Option to everyone for free. This is a bare-bones, fill-in-the blank type of tax form that does some calculations for you but for the vast majority of the calculations, you are on your own. This was fine with me and satisfied my criteria that the government should provide a free eFiling option.
The only problem? The Free File system often had errors or couldn’t be used with certain tax schedules, deductions or forms. Last year, we came close to eFiling but some form we needed wasn’t allowed on the Free File system. So, we printed out and mailed again!
But this year . . . S U C C E S S ! ! ! !
The Free File system had all the forms we needed available. The calculations were all correct with no errors. For many reasons, it was great for us that this year in particular was an eFiling year. It made things so much easier for both us and for the government.
When I went to eFile the first time, I had a typo on one piece of identifying information and the return was rejected. I called the IRS to inquire what was wrong. The first person I spoke with was quite abrupt and unhelpful but she transferred me to another person. I had to wait a while on hold but the next woman I spoke with was very helpful, very patient and helped me find the error. I then eFiled with success!
This is such a huge step forward in our tax collection process. Kudos to everyone involved!
In another huge leap forward, the Commonwealth of Virginia tax collection process now provides a Free File option and we eFiled with Virginia as well!
Like the IRS, Virginia was also charging all but low-income taxpayers to eFile their taxes until this year. Last year, I broke out the typewriter to type and manually mail our return to Virginia via the free method. Perhaps Virginia got the message from devout paper filers like me.
So, although I don’t enjoy paying my taxes, the eFile service this year made the process so much less painful!
Did you eFile this year? Please share in the comments.