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No More Mailed Tax Form Packages

 
 
Miller
 
Reply Sat 16 Oct, 2010 01:20 am
Warning: No more mailed tax form packages
October 13, 2010

Warning to all taxpayers: don’t look to your mailbox in early January 2011 for that friendly newsprint tax packet, because it won’t be there.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service will not send out paper tax form packets to individuals, changing the standard policy of recent memory.

Forms for 2010 will either need to be downloaded and printed at the taxpayer’s individual expense, filled in online, or obtained from another source.

The IRS is referring individuals to irs.gov to download forms, to local taxpayer assistance centers, or to local libraries and post offices to obtain the forms.

“With the continued growth in electronic filing and to help reduce costs, the IRS will no longer mail paper tax packages that typically arrive in January of each year,” according to IRS Notice 1400, dated September 2010.

It’s unclear if local outlets like libraries and post offices will be prepared for the increased demand that seems likely to stem from this decision, especially as those not comfortable with submitting personal financial data over the internet or those who do not have good computer skills will likely seek hard copies–over and above those who already obtained such hard copies at local libraries and post offices in previous years.

It was also not clear, according to Notice 1400, what precise percentage of the taxpaying population already feels comfortable with online filing–the document claims that since 1990 the IRS has processed “nearly 1 billion e-filed tax returns safely and securely.”

Notice 1400 did not state how much money will be saved by not mailing out packets or where that money will go; nor did it state the economic impact this decision will have on the U.S. Postal Service.

Those “experiencing a hardship in obtaining paper tax forms” are advised to call 1-800-829-3676, according to Notice 1400 (a postcard mailed to taxpayers in October), but only after Jan. 10, 2011

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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 2,114 • Replies: 14
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Oct, 2010 01:22 am
@Miller,
Not even the government can afford postage anymore, right?

Right!
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Oct, 2010 01:36 am
Right!
0 Replies
 
MonaLeeza
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Oct, 2010 05:17 am
@Miller,
They stopped mailing them out here in Australia two or three years ago so I finally started doing my tax online - much easier.
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Oct, 2010 06:50 am
I forget which one it is, but there is a tax form that we use that you have to get as a paper copy from the government. Apparently, it is written on special paper that can be read by machines. You can find it on the internet, but it is only for reference.

What is going to be done about that?
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Oct, 2010 06:55 am
Quote:
Individual and business taxpayers recently advised they will no longer receive income tax packages in the mail from the IRS can use the links on this page to view, download, or order the forms, schedules, and instructions needed for filing a paper income tax return.


http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/index.html

Looks like you still can order the forms. I would suspect that the government is looking to cut down a lot of the waste that is involved in sending forms to everyone, when a lot of people e-file. Now, if they could only develop other creative ways to cut down on waste, then maybe they might be "on" to something!
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Oct, 2010 03:53 pm
@Phoenix32890,
Yes, you can go online and order the forms + instructions individually after 11/30/10 . You just can't order the complete packet we used to receive in the mail.

I don't know what you're supposed to be doing about the calculations that accompany some of the parts of the form however, as for example carry-overs from investment losses.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Oct, 2010 03:54 pm
@Phoenix32890,
Phoenix32890 wrote:

I forget which one it is, but there is a tax form that we use that you have to get as a paper copy from the government. Apparently, it is written on special paper that can be read by machines. You can find it on the internet, but it is only for reference.

What is going to be done about that?



So are you saying machines will now be carrying out a preliminary audit of the tax forms?
Miller
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Oct, 2010 03:55 pm
@MonaLeeza,
MonaLeeza wrote:

They stopped mailing them out here in Australia two or three years ago so I finally started doing my tax online - much easier.


I don't do mine online and never will. I like to do a paper calculation first and then go over it many times.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Oct, 2010 04:08 pm
@Miller,
I wholeheartedly support this conservation and money saving effort for the IRS.

The fastest way to get one's taxes done is by an early completion of your taxes (say early to mid January) via electronic filing.
0 Replies
 
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Oct, 2010 04:10 pm
@Miller,
I'd have to find it and pull it out yo be more specific, but our state tax form that our accountant did and we signed, was a one sheet form that just had a bunch of marks and a few numbers on it that was going to be fed into a machine (according to the instructions that said something like DO NOT MARK ANYWHERE ABOVE THIS LINE or your refund may be delayed!)

Not sure that it is an audit of any sort, but yeah, it's fed into a machine that I pictured to be something like our voting machine readers.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Oct, 2010 04:30 pm
@Miller,
Machines already do a preliminary audit. Your numbers are compared to all the information the IRS receives from employers, banks, brokerages, etc. I received an official notice when my mortgage deduction didn't match the form my bank sent and the error was in my favor.
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Oct, 2010 08:43 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

Machines already do a preliminary audit. Your numbers are compared to all the information the IRS receives from employers, banks, brokerages, etc. I received an official notice when my mortgage deduction didn't match the form my bank sent and the error was in my favor.


I guessed this about 2 years ago, when I had an audit on my Fed return which I submitted to Andover, Ma. I blamed the IRS for hiring uneducated employees.
But now I see the problem was with the "machine", which couldn't figure out some of the stock symbols that I used and as a result told me that I owed the Gov about $18,000. But I didn't. Smile
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Oct, 2010 10:23 am
@Miller,
I've started making sure the total stock sales for any given year match the brokerage number just to head off that type of flag. The brokerage doesn't compute taxable gain, just total sales dollars. It makes sense that we should move to software for doing taxes. After all, the whole tax form is just a paper spreadsheet. It's worth the $30/year to me to get tax software just to make sure I have all the right forms and all my information gets carried forward correctly.
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Mar, 2011 05:24 pm
@engineer,
You can order the forms over the phone. Interesting, the new booklet of instructions lacks the 2010 forms. Why?
0 Replies
 
 

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