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  1. #1
    CreativeBlock is offline Member
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    TurboTax and the IRS

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Florida

    While looking over our taxes (2008) that we filed using Turbo Tax online (we're in the middle of amending our 2008 return for the FTHB credit ~ we originally claimed only $7500, but were actually due $8K), I noticed that the figure ($9413) on the coversheet of the tax return is $500 short than on line 72 & 73a (the line that states the actual refund due) of the actual return itself. I checked our bank account and we only received the $9413. According to our 1040, we're supposed to receive $9913.

    Does anyone know why the difference?!? Has anyone experienced this sort of problem with Turbo Tax before?

    I contacted Turbo Tax and their only response is "Talk to the IRS. They kept your money." And told me it what likely that we owed for something else.

    If that's the case, isn't it highly coincidental that TT "shorted" us by $500 and we owed exactly that to the IRS? Is Turbo Tax psychic?!

    Please pardon me if I've posted this in the wrong area. :/
  2. #2
    davew128 is offline Senior Member
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    Hold up your original return so that I can look at it.

    And you're only noticing the discrepancy two years AFTER the fact?
  3. #3
    CreativeBlock is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by davew128 View Post
    Hold up your original return so that I can look at it.
    LOL, I didn't think anyone could see it. That's why I went into as much detail about the discrepancy as I could.

    I don't think I deserve your derision. I don't think that I could have explained it any clearer than I did (though I'll try after this paragraph). And even if it wasn't clear enough, you could have asked questions.

    To possibly clarify:

    There is a "cover sheet" that explains the process of e-Filing; it includes data such as tax percentage, AGI, and refund amount. There is a second page that's more or less a summary of the first "cover sheet." Both have the amount as $9413.

    On the tax return itself, it's listed as $9913.

    We received $9413 deposited into our bank account.

    There's a discrepancy that can only be blamed on TT's programming. Since there was no way that TurboTax could know that we owed (IF we owed) $500. TurboTax does not have access to that kind of information.

    And as far as I know, we did not owe any back taxes whatsoever.

    And you're only noticing the discrepancy two years AFTER the fact?
    Yes. Foolish, but I trusted TT to be accurate as we've used them since '03. I believed that as long as I put good information in, I'd get good information out. I had no reason to believe otherwise.

    The fact that I had a stroke soon after didn't help the situation any, either.
  4. #4
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Have you tried talking to the IRS?

    Failing that, try the Tax Advocacy folk

    http://www.irs.gov/advocate/article/0,,id=97402,00.html



    It took a lot of time and effort (for us), but they really did help put a serious tax issue to rest
  5. #5
    Kiawah is offline Senior Member
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    You have to look at the letter you would have received from the IRS, which would show the modification/change of $500. That would explain where the IRS records differ from what you entered into TT and submitted, and how they changed what you would then get back.

    Contact the IRS for a copy of that years info, if you misplaced the letter.
  6. #6
    LdiJ is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CreativeBlock View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Florida

    While looking over our taxes (2008) that we filed using Turbo Tax online (we're in the middle of amending our 2008 return for the FTHB credit ~ we originally claimed only $7500, but were actually due $8K), I noticed that the figure ($9413) on the coversheet of the tax return is $500 short than on line 72 & 73a (the line that states the actual refund due) of the actual return itself. I checked our bank account and we only received the $9413. According to our 1040, we're supposed to receive $9913.

    Does anyone know why the difference?!? Has anyone experienced this sort of problem with Turbo Tax before?

    I contacted Turbo Tax and their only response is "Talk to the IRS. They kept your money." And told me it what likely that we owed for something else.

    If that's the case, isn't it highly coincidental that TT "shorted" us by $500 and we owed exactly that to the IRS? Is Turbo Tax psychic?!

    Please pardon me if I've posted this in the wrong area. :/
    Have you already inputted the information for the amendment? Because 500.00 is the exact difference between the 7500.00 credit and the 8000.00 credit. When you do the 1040X it also changes the 1040. Therefore lines 72 and 73A could be reflecting the change that you made to get the extra 500.00.

    Otherwise, despite the fact that I think that TurboTax is awful (question and answer format so no one reads the 1040 instructions anymore and easy to misinterpret a question and therefore make huge errors) even TurboTax isn't likely to make a program error that would show 9913.00 on lines 72 and 73a but only transmit 9413.00 to the IRS.

    Otherwise though, Dave is right. Someone cannot give you a clear answer without being able to see the actual printed return. Look however at line 69, does it say 7500.00 or 8000.00?
    Last edited by LdiJ; 01-12-2011 at 07:44 PM.
  7. #7
    davew128 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CreativeBlock View Post
    I don't think I deserve your derision. I don't think that I could have explained it any clearer than I did (though I'll try after this paragraph). And even if it wasn't clear enough, you could have asked questions.
    When a client asks me questions about a return I prepared, I look at the return from my files. When a prospective client comes in and asks questions about a return I did not THEY SHOW ME THE RETURN. There are roughly 65-75 lines on a Form 1040 every year and they do not remain the same from year to year. Also, no reputable tax professional uses TurboTax. Without looking at the return to analyze I'd be tossing out wild guesses which a waste of your time and more importantly, mine.
  8. #8
    davew128 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiawah View Post
    You have to look at the letter you would have received from the IRS, which would show the modification/change of $500. That would explain where the IRS records differ from what you entered into TT and submitted, and how they changed what you would then get back.

    Contact the IRS for a copy of that years info, if you misplaced the letter.
    The IRS didn't modify the return.....
  9. #9
    CreativeBlock is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    Have you already inputted the information for the amendment?
    No, this was from the original tax return from 2008. I hadn't even gotten as far as the actual amended return.

    Because 500.00 is the exact difference between the 7500.00 credit and the 8000.00 credit. When you do the 1040X it also changes the 1040. Therefore lines 72 and 73A could be reflecting the change that you made to get the extra 500.00.
    I see what you mean ...

    Otherwise, despite the fact that I think that TurboTax is awful (question and answer format so no one reads the 1040 instructions anymore and easy to misinterpret a question and therefore make huge errors) even TurboTax isn't likely to make a program error that would show 9913.00 on lines 72 and 73a but only transmit 9413.00 to the IRS.
    That's what TT is saying (they're blaming the IRS) ... but that's what's stated on the return prior to even filing it! I printed the return to PDF (and in comparing the two ~ my copy that printed prior to sending, and the one kept at TT's website in my account, they are identical) and then sent it via e-File.

    Otherwise though, Dave is right.
    I can agree to that (having done IT for the government), but he didn't have to be so snarky.

    Someone cannot give you a clear answer without being able to see the actual printed return. Look however at line 69, does it say 7500.00 or 8000.00?
    Okay, now THAT doesn't make sense, but simultaneously makes sense.

    It says $8000 on line 69 (on all copies), BUT the IRS states that we only took the $7500 credit and has sent us ... well, several letters telling us we need to amend our returns to take the $8K/$500 remaining (or that otherwise, we'll still owe them $500 for repayment).

    From what I can tell, TT confused in the paperwork both versions of the tax credit.

    Do you agree that it seems that although in our actual 1040, its stating that we took the $8K credit, but perhaps when transmitted, it only gave us the $7500 credit?

    We bought our house in Jan '09 and when we did our taxes, we went ahead and did the credit on our '08 taxes (the IRS and TT explicitly said we could). Sometime between our filing and our refund, they revised the tax act to change our credit from the repaid $7500 to the non-repaid $8K.

    Does all of that make sense? If not, please let me know. I really do appreciate your assistance!
  10. #10
    CreativeBlock is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proserpina View Post
    Have you tried talking to the IRS?
    Not yet. I spent so long on the phone and iChat with TT that by the time both the rep and I were thoroughly confused, it was too late (children had come home from school and needed help with studying, had a dinner date, etc). I plan to call them tomorrow, though had been hoping it wouldn't come to that.

    Failing that, try the Tax Advocacy folk

    http://www.irs.gov/advocate/article/0,,id=97402,00.html

    It took a lot of time and effort (for us), but they really did help put a serious tax issue to rest
    Thank you very much for the link, Proserpina! I have the horribly uneasy feeling that the only way to straighten this out will be to call them.

    My past experience with government work implies that I'll end up calling more than once. :/
  11. #11
    CreativeBlock is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by davew128 View Post
    When a client asks me questions about a return I prepared, I look at the return from my files. When a prospective client comes in and asks questions about a return I did not THEY SHOW ME THE RETURN. There are roughly 65-75 lines on a Form 1040 every year and they do not remain the same from year to year. Also, no reputable tax professional uses TurboTax. Without looking at the return to analyze I'd be tossing out wild guesses which a waste of your time and more importantly, mine.
    It wasn't your response as much as it was the "eye-roll." If it was meant differently, I apologize for jumping to conclusions.

    I understand about all the lines. But I felt that it was telling that every single line was correct except for the figure between the "cover sheet" (I don't know what else to call it) and the figure on line 72/73a ~ and then the added discrepancy between what was on line 72/73a and the amount we actually received.

    As for "no reputable tax professional uses TT" I can see why now. Even though I've actually finished 90% of this year's return (was going to send it next month, at least a month after sending in this amended return to avoid confusion on the repayment issue) with TT, needless to say, I won't be filing with them.

    I'm done with TT.
  12. #12
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Hints for talking to the IRS: (this is tongue in cheek, from one Infernal Revenue Service client to another!)


    Get comfy. Don't call 'em while standing unless you like pacing the floor and thus increasing your stress levels.

    Make sure you have at least an hour to spare.

    Have something on hand to ease the frustration of being on hold for 45 minutes; suggestions include coffee, juice, strong alcohol, 5 lbs of chocolate, stress ball, rosary, prayer beads, darts and dart board, wrecking ball, voodoo dolls, notebook (to write down the nasty things you want to do), things like that.

    Make sure any humans you care about are safely ensconced elsewhere. You don't want to injure them with mis-fired objects.

    Remember - they ARE actually human too (despite all rumors to the contrary). Speak with kindness, and remember that you might actually make someone's day by saying "thank you" - even when they give you absolutely no help whatsoever, and frustrate the living crap out of you.

    Be prepared to be referred to a gazillion other numbers and/or agents.

    Breathe.

    Above all - concede that there will be enough red tape to climb through that when you're done, you'll be able to climb Everest.


    ************


    One more thing.

    When/if your are referred to the Tax Advocacy people - treasure them. Your case worker really will work for you - give him/her time, keep them up to date and let them work their magic.

    Even if it doesn't go in your favor, there will be an answer eventually.
  13. #13
    LdiJ is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CreativeBlock View Post
    No, this was from the original tax return from 2008. I hadn't even gotten as far as the actual amended return.



    I see what you mean ...



    That's what TT is saying (they're blaming the IRS) ... but that's what's stated on the return prior to even filing it! I printed the return to PDF (and in comparing the two ~ my copy that printed prior to sending, and the one kept at TT's website in my account, they are identical) and then sent it via e-File.



    I can agree to that (having done IT for the government), but he didn't have to be so snarky.



    Okay, now THAT doesn't make sense, but simultaneously makes sense.

    It says $8000 on line 69 (on all copies), BUT the IRS states that we only took the $7500 credit and has sent us ... well, several letters telling us we need to amend our returns to take the $8K/$500 remaining (or that otherwise, we'll still owe them $500 for repayment).

    From what I can tell, TT confused in the paperwork both versions of the tax credit.

    Do you agree that it seems that although in our actual 1040, its stating that we took the $8K credit, but perhaps when transmitted, it only gave us the $7500 credit?

    [B]We bought our house in Jan '09 and when we did our taxes, we went ahead and did the credit on our '08 taxes (the IRS and TT explicitly said we could). Sometime between our filing and our refund, they revised the tax act to change our credit from the repaid $7500 to the non-repaid $8K.

    Does all of that make sense? If not, please let me know. I really do appreciate your assistance!
    OK, that really is possible. Software providers were updating their software to handle the change in the law about that time in 2009 and so was the IRS. If you just happened to do your return at just the moment when they were making the changes, it really is possible that the 8k credit showed on your software but it transmitted as 7500.00.

    The IRS couldn't accept an 8000.00 credit in January of 09...it was sometime in February before the IRS's systems could accept an 8k credit.

    However, what that means is that you probably cannot use TurboTax to amend your return, since TurboTax is reflecting an 8k credit. I don't think that TurboTax allows you to override figures. You are either going to have to do it by hand and override the 8k for the starting figures (you couldn't pay me a thousand dollars to do an amended return by hand...LOL) or you are going to need a tax professional to handle it for you.

    I would recommend a tax professional since its not just a question of getting 500.00 more, its also a question of not having to pay back the 7500.00 credit. You don't have to call the IRS because its now clear what the problem is, you just need to get the return amended. You don't have to pay the rates of a high priced CPA, you just need someone with professional software who knows what they are doing. You will also need to explain to them that the return that got submitted to the IRS reflected 7500.00 rather than 8k.
    Last edited by LdiJ; 01-13-2011 at 06:37 AM.
  14. #14
    AdivceGiver is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by davew128 View Post
    Hold up your original return so that I can look at it.

    And you're only noticing the discrepancy two years AFTER the fact?
    I review my tax returns for 3 yrs back every APR, just in case I missed something (and I have found errors to my advantage).

    So, I do not think that this is unusual ... if they made the tax code simpler,,who am I kidding??
  15. #15
    divona2000 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proserpina View Post
    ...Get comfy. Don't call 'em while standing unless you like pacing the floor and thus increasing your stress levels.

    Make sure you have at least an hour to spare.

    Have something on hand to ease the frustration of being on hold for 45 minutes; suggestions include coffee, juice, strong alcohol, 5 lbs of chocolate, stress ball, rosary, prayer beads, darts and dart board, wrecking ball, voodoo dolls, notebook (to write down the nasty things you want to do), things like that.

    Make sure any humans you care about are safely ensconced elsewhere. You don't want to injure them with mis-fired objects.

    Remember - they ARE actually human too (despite all rumors to the contrary). Speak with kindness, and remember that you might actually make someone's day by saying "thank you" - even when they give you absolutely no help whatsoever, and frustrate the living crap out of you.

    Be prepared to be referred to a gazillion other numbers and/or agents.

    Breathe.

    Above all - concede that there will be enough red tape to climb through that when you're done, you'll be able to climb Everest.
    ...
    Requesting permission to print this out and tape it to my frig!

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