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Friday, March 16, 2007
Even More Unpleasant Tax Return Filing Experience
I have been quiet for a while. The reason? Quite exhaustive travels, reading a good investment book and filing for tax returns.

Tonight I had been working on a state income tax return, whose tax forms were in encrypted PDF format. It means that you can only print it to a physical printer, but not save it with data filled in, which is really a pain in the neck. I could not file online because of some complicated issues. However, I would like to fill the data in the pdf files electronically since it's cleaner and I can also keep an electronic copy of my tax returns. I do not understand why they wanted to create even more trouble for poor people who need to file off-line! It's a well-known trade-off between convenience and security, however, I can not believe that people would create such unnecessary inconvenience for no gain in security at all!!!

I was a bit nervous because it was not easy to work back and forth between 7 forms (Federal plus State) and quite a few browser windows without making any mistakes. I was unlucky with my computers many times, thus, even I didn't close any window mistakenly, the applications and Windows may well crash when I was working.

After a whole night's hard work, I finally got to print them out before losing them despite a glitch in printing. Whew!

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posted by Yannick @ 9:03 PM   |
  • At March 17, 2007 at 6:27 AM, Blogger mOOm said…

    I fill out my forms by hand :) I download the pdfs (apart from the main 1040 they send me) and print them out. I do the computations in Excel and so I have that version + a photocopy of the complete form... well anyway works for me.

  • At March 17, 2007 at 6:28 AM, Blogger mOOm said…

    PS I create my own schedule D-1 in Excel which I print out to submit.

  • At March 17, 2007 at 1:38 PM, Blogger Yannick said…

    Thanks mOOm. How much time did it take you to do the federal return? It took me a whole day, with the help of TaxCut.

    You're a Pro. Excel is certainly the tool I will use next time. Maybe I can download the transactions in CSV format to be imported into Excel worksheet.

    I thought I saved time using TaxCut, which extracted all my equity transactions from MS Money. It produced schedule D-1 (short term captial gain and long term CG automatically, which was very slick. I downloaded 1040 etc. and fill in the forms electronically in Acrobat Reader to claim a treaty benefit which TaxCut does not allow me to claim. So the 1040 in TaxCut was not usable directly, but the Schedule B and D were. I knew what change I need to make on 1040, thus, I was able to reference the TaxCut 1040 often to make sure i wasn't missing any deductions.

    I was able to use the data from our federal return in the state return which I had put into TaxCut. However, my luck ended there since TaxCut only gave one free State return and we needed two. The 2nd state return was more painful than the first since it did not allow me to save my work in the middle using the forms provided by the state government.

    It is cleaner to fill a form electronically since I can change the numbers many times without messing up the look. However, certainly not worth it if the state government does not want you to. I will probably print out a blank form and let them read my handwritings next time. :D

  • At November 10, 2008 at 4:32 PM, Anonymous Mindy said…

    People should read this.

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Name: Jacqui
About Me: I am a 30 something, married woman, no kid yet. My husband and I are late starters, on jobs, on personal finance, on blogging... But we believe that we will catch up!
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