Discussion:Survey on Not Required to File

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Discussion Forum Index --> General Chat --> Survey on Not Required to File


STG (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2014
Just had ANOTHER client come in whose former preparer has been filing tax returns for years with very little pension income, and basic social security income well below state filing thresholds (SC allows you to exclude SS from required to file amounts). Stopping SC withholding would eliminate need to file return, saving TP money.

Three questions:

1. How many of you advise clients to stop withholding to save on tax prep?
2. How many of you don't charge to simply get back withholding on a state return?
3. How often do you see clients filing non-required tax returns year after year rather than stop withholding?

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

3 February 2014
1. If they don't need to have taxes withheld, I would inform them.
2. Not my fault, I file a return, I expect to get paid.
3. Right now, just my daughter's return falls under this category (state taxes only). I don't stop it in case she makes a little more and then has to pay the tax.

Markb29 (talk|edits) said:

3 February 2014
stop withholding

nominal charge for tax return

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

3 February 2014
Do note that some retired folks want to file as part of their civic pride. I inform them they don't need to file this year, but come back next year with their papers and we'll see if anything changed. If you tell them they no longer need to file, they don't come in when they sell the land next to their house or those stocks and mutual funds, then get mad at you when they get a nastygram from the IRS.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

3 February 2014
In some states, there are real estate tax rebates that draw information from Federal returns.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

3 February 2014
We have these clients come in year after year to make sure nothing changes. The goodwill generated by telling them they don't have to file outweighs the time spent saying hello.

For clients filing simply to get w/h back, we tell them if they call and have it stopped immediately, then next year's return is free. If they keep having w/h taken out, then full charge.

Some do still wish to file, others are happy. We've spoken to assessors and they will accept the individual income documents. At least around here they will.

Taxmonkey (talk|edits) said:

3 February 2014
I inform clients who don't have a need to file.

Charge a discounted rate for clients who wish to file anyway. I have a handful who still do it.

STG (talk|edits) said:

4 February 2014
Fred, that's a great system! I am officially stealing it!

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

6 February 2014
STG, no problem. We bring their files forward in the system and send them letters. The little old ladies come in and will chat for 5 minutes and then they go. Happy happy happy and often they come bearing gifts.

Snowbird (talk|edits) said:

6 February 2014
I am a volunteer with AARP Tax Aide and we recommend seniors file to guard against identity tax fraud. Anyone that knows a senior's Medicare number knows their Social Number since they are virtually the same. Seniors who don't file are easy targets for scammers to get a refund by creating a fictitious tax return.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

6 February 2014
Snowbird,

If a senior is not required to file, and ID thieves are getting refunds, then by filing, wouldn't that cause greater issues for the seniors?

I mean, let's assume people stealing their refunds. If they file and get a notice, then they may spend tons of dollars trying to fix and countless hours worrying about it.

In this case, wouldn't ignorance be bliss?

Snowbird (talk|edits) said:

6 February 2014
Fred,

There are several scenarios, only one which is good ... the senior files before the identity thief, and therefore, the thief gets the rejection. If the thief files first and creates a false refunded based on nonexistent withholding and credits, the IRS will refund into the thief's temporary account or load a debit card. If the senior has a small refund due, they can file and get it back. We can also help the senior with the reporting process since we efile and know about the theft . If the senior does not file ... 6 to 24 months later the IRS will send a letter requesting the missing documents, etc ... and you know how stressful a simple CP 2000 can be on a senior or anyone for that fact.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

6 February 2014
But Dave, in situations where a senior would rarely, if ever file, I still don't see it.

Are you saying that the ID thieves are using the people's current address? The ones I have encountered have always had a different address attached to the stolen identity.

I see what you say, but I'm not fully convinced yet.

Where did the edict come down from? Does AARP recommend this for all seniors? Or was it local decision?

Not saying it's bad, just that I'm still not sold, but then again, that's just me.

Snowbird (talk|edits) said:

7 February 2014
Yes, thieves actually using current addresses, efiling and using direct deposits to temporary bank accounts or debit cards. Here is a link AARP BULLETIN: Protect Your Tax Return

I don't think it is an edict ... it may be more a local decision ... we do a lot of seniors.

Tax Writer (talk|edits) said:

9 February 2014
But Dave, in situations where a senior would rarely, if ever file, I still don't see it

In CA, there doesn't seem to be a safe situation where you can escape filing, unless you own zero real estate and have zero income, so it's always a good idea to file here. The FTB is very fond of assessments with imputed income for those who do not file or respond to their notices.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

9 February 2014
Christy, well yeah. CA is whacked. But what's your opinion on other states. NY in particular of course.

Snowbird (talk|edits) said:

16 February 2014
Interesting article in Tampa Tribune ... Tampa area turning corner on ID theft tax fraud plague It is a long article so if you are just browsing it, near the end of the article is a discussion of Debit Cards which is how thieves get the refund and Seniors get the CP 2000 later in the year.

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