February 15th, 2021



I suppose I could call this post "retraction retraction retraction." After a couple of more tries, I finally had my return accepted. When I finally got the confirmation email there was a huge sigh of relief. It also gave me time to reflect on what had happened, and realized that it was a very good thing. Lessons were learned! The IRS system is definitely not perfect, but it ain't that bad. Fortunately my financial situation was very straight-forward this year, so it provided the perfect opportunity to learn how the system works. Of course I have been doing this for decades, but I'm getting this whole "online thing" down. I also like doing things by hand on my own because I better understand the process and logic. I hated using Turbo Tax because it was too "black box." Plus, it really didn't save me any time. On top of that it cost me a lot of money (relatively). The IRS system could use some work in their error reporting, but I was able to navigate to my errors and correct them. Once again, much easier to do when the return is relatively easy with few numbers.

What I was also very pleased with was the time it took to get feedback. I hit "file." About 5 minutes later I get an email saying they had my return. In about an hour I got a message saying it was rejected due to an error. The error message is much more easily read and understood when opened in a computer as opposed to a phone. The first screw up I made was that I had missed something when entering the info from our W-2 forms. This is a pain in the ass to do, but even Turbo Tax makes you do this shit. If you file a paper return, you just staple a copy to your form. When you do it online, you have to type everything into the system. I missed one thing. Rejected. Fixed. Rejected again.

The next error was something on my 1040 that dealt with exemptions. Hmmm. They got rid of that a few years ago. There is no place they ask for that. But wait! What's this? There is a question about whether you traded in crypto-currency. Hmmm. That's a new one. I forgot to click "no." "No" Fixed. Resend. Rejected.

Hmmm. There's now something wrong with my Schedule D. It shouldn't be a big deal. I only had one stock trade for a small loss. This loss puzzled me because I never found the place where I could write it off of my income. I had done a formula about dividends and it said that I could not write off the loss. Wait! I was calculating apples with oranges! I COULD write off that loss! It was just a different line number. It saved me $50 in tax! Woohoo! Getting the error helped me and educated me on what I need to put on that line in the future! Fixed. Sent. ACCEPTED!

So overall it was a good experience in that I was able to navigate through the system to a successful end. It was a nice "self-teaching" moment. It was also a reflection of myself that I need to improve. I missed a couple of small details. They were not important in the grand scheme of things, but they were required and I had just skipped over them. I need to pay greater attention to stuff like this if it is required.