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March 4th, 2007

Filing Taxes: e-file and TurboTax

...(a clip from a poor customer service representative required to explain the stupidity of their programs)...

Justin Pittman: I want to change my signing method.

01_Khristine : If you want to change your signing method to electronic signature, you have to check if your state return is rejected then you can change it in the program.
Justin Pittman: *ugh*
Justin Pittman: We already went over this. My state will probably not be rejected. Regardless, my federal return has been accepted. So I do not see how your solution allows me to change my signing method.
01_Khristine : Ok Justin. If it is accepted. You cannot change your signing method to electronic signature.
Justin Pittman: There is simply another answer out there. Does the IRS accepted direct electronic signatures from third-party tax services like TurboTax? where a customer can electronically sign directly with the IRS for returns that the third-party submitted electronically for the tax-payer?
01_Khristine : Yes Justin. IRS and Turbotax has an agreement with regards to this kind of situations.
Justin Pittman: I'd like information about how a Turbotax user can submit his own electronic signature since your program will not allow me to change my signing method. I would also like to submit a complaint about how the program does not allow users to change their signing method.
01_Khristine : Ok Justin. If you want to change your signing method and your return has been accepted, the only way for you to change it is to amend your return. When I say amend a return, it does not necessarily mean that you will have to amend the whole return. Just go through it and the only information you have to amend is the signing method which is from sign by mail to electronic signature.
Justin Pittman: Excellent.
Justin Pittman: Once I amend my returns, will they be resubmitted?
01_Khristine : You can only submit an amended return by mail. The program will ask you the reason why you want to amend it and just indicate there that you will change your signing method from sign by mail to electronic signature.
Justin Pittman: That is stupid. The whole point of changing my signing method is to get my return within the 9 days as promised by your program. Now to change my signing method, I must submit my taxes via mail?! This undermines the whole point of e-filing. I'd therefore still need to file a complaint about your online program ...
01_Khristine : Ok Justin. I would like to inform you that e-filing is only for original federal & state returns prepared by the customer. Amended returns are only mailed to IRS.
01_Khristine : What I can only advise you is wait for your state return to be accepted then print & mail the 8453-ol so that you will be able to get your refund within 9 days.
Justin Pittman: That's fine Khristine, but you just told me that to change my signing method to electronic then I must file my amended returns via mail? Don't you find that obviously wrong?! There is not point of changing my signing method to electronic if I must submit my taxes via mail; your solution for changing signing methods undermines the ability to send e-files. The simple solution is to allow me to change my signing method ELECTRONICALLY.
Justin Pittman: You have said that I cannot change my signing method electroncially, therefore I want to file a complaint.
01_Khristine : Ok Justin. Let me clear things out.
01_Khristine : First thing you have to do, wait for the status of your return. Check if it is accepted or rejected.
01_Khristine : If it is accepted, as you know it will, then just print and mail the form 8453-OL since a you choose to sign it by mail because you have no AGI back then. Mail it to IRS so that it will enable you to receive your refund within 9 days.
Justin Pittman: That's fine and dandy. I have not been convinced that your solution enables me to file everything electroncially. Please redirect me to your site for complaints about the program.
01_Khristine : Ok Justin. I will raise your concern to our Software engineers.
01_Khristine : Can you please hold for a moment as I need to get information from you?
Justin Pittman: will do