Electronic tax return filing: should it be mandatory?
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Thread: Electronic tax return filing: should it be mandatory?

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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Default Electronic tax return filing: should it be mandatory?

    Electronic tax return filing has been shown to be more secure, more accurate, and faster & cheaper to process than paper filing. Every professional tax preparation company in the U.S. is required to file tax returns electronically, but people who do their own taxes are still allowed to send in paper. And there's no charge for sending in a paper tax return even though it costs more for the IRS to process them.

    Should everyone who has internet access be required to file their tax returns electronically? Should people who file paper returns be charged a fee to cover the additional cost?
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    No way. Asking people to send personal financial information over the internet, and charging them for doing otherwise, is not fair. I know quite a few people who don't do any of their financial transactions on the web, who don't use credit cards, etc. And you can't charge people for how they pay their taxes! It's already preposterous that it's so complicated that it requires paid assistance to do; the only years I was able to do my own was when I was single, had one consistent job, and owned nothing. Now it's impossible.

    If you're doing your taxes on your own you should not have to pay extra to submit them.
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    You absolutely should have the option to send your taxes in by mail. I will use the example of my parents. My dad would not know how to turn on a computer to save his life. She should not be charged extra to file his taxes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    Electronic tax return filing has been shown to be more secure, more accurate, and faster & cheaper to process than paper filing. Every professional tax preparation company in the U.S. is required to file tax returns electronically, but people who do their own taxes are still allowed to send in paper. And there's no charge for sending in a paper tax return even though it costs more for the IRS to process them.

    Should everyone who has internet access be required to file their tax returns electronically? Should people who file paper returns be charged a fee to cover the additional cost?
    Quote Originally Posted by freddieflounder101 View Post
    No way. Asking people to send personal financial information over the internet, and charging them for doing otherwise, is not fair. I know quite a few people who don't do any of their financial transactions on the web, who don't use credit cards, etc. And you can't charge people for how they pay their taxes! It's already preposterous that it's so complicated that it requires paid assistance to do; the only years I was able to do my own was when I was single, had one consistent job, and owned nothing. Now it's impossible.

    If you're doing your taxes on your own you should not have to pay extra to submit them.
    If the reason they aren't using the Internet for financial business is security, filing electronically is more secure. (OT: look at the Target breach - the online purchases weren't effected; just those made at the store.)

    I do my taxes every year using turbotax. It's $20 to file my state taxes electronically. Federal was free.

    I don't see a problem with requiring taxes submitted online. 20 years ago direct deposit was an option at some places and over time it has become the norm, even mandatory for some sources of income.

    If you want to get technical, you do have to pay for the postage to submit a paper return.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaEimers View Post
    You absolutely should have the option to send your taxes in by mail. I will use the example of my parents. My dad would not know how to turn on a computer to save his life. She should not be charged extra to file his taxes.
    How do they do their taxes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ethanwinfield View Post
    If the reason they aren't using the Internet for financial business is security, filing electronically is more secure. (OT: look at the Target breach - the online purchases weren't effected; just those made at the store.)

    I do my taxes every year using turbotax. It's $20 to file my state taxes electronically. Federal was free.

    I don't see a problem with requiring taxes submitted online. 20 years ago direct deposit was an option at some places and over time it has become the norm, even mandatory for some sources of income.

    If you want to get technical, you do have to pay for the postage to submit a paper return.
    I'm not saying it isn't safe. I'm saying that my in-laws, for example, won't believe that it is no matter what I tell them. They should not be charged extra for doing it the same way they've always done, which they are comfortable with.
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    I know here they encourage e-filing but it is not mandatory. Starting in 2015 there will be no more government cheques, everything has to be done by direct deposit.

    Question? I know that Americans file separate tax forms for state and federal, do they go to separate places? Here the federal government collects on behalf of the provinces and forward the money on.
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    Nope. People should be able to file however they want, just as long as they file.
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    Quote Originally Posted by freddieflounder101 View Post
    I'm not saying it isn't safe. I'm saying that my in-laws, for example, won't believe that it is no matter what I tell them. They should not be charged extra for doing it the same way they've always done, which they are comfortable with.
    So then the rest of the taxpayers should pay it instead? Employees processing the returns are paid for through tax dollars. Just for argument's sake, if it cost $1 to process an electronic return and $10 to process a paper return, why should it be the rest of the taxpayers who pay that? Why shouldn't the actual cost be passed on to the person who incurred the cost?

    I started using tax software in about 1996. I don't know when I started filing electronically, but I know I have had direct deposit of my refund for the past 15 years.

    Times and technology have changed. I *know* how to do my taxes using the publications and the forms, but why? It is so much easier to use the tax software and choose the bubble for "file electronically" than print forms and mail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mom2robbie View Post
    I know here they encourage e-filing but it is not mandatory. Starting in 2015 there will be no more government cheques, everything has to be done by direct deposit.

    Question? I know that Americans file separate tax forms for state and federal, do they go to separate places? Here the federal government collects on behalf of the provinces and forward the money on.
    Off the top of my head, I mail my federal to Fresno, CA and state to Sacrament, CA. So, yes, we mail them to separate places. Not all states collect state income taxes.

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