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2.18.2013

STILL PENDING


It's the most wonderful time of the year!  Not.  It's the much dreaded and put-off-to the-last-minute tax season.  I do though appreciate that the word season is added for mental benefit.  We can mentally endure most things if we know it's only for a spell, a jaunt, a bit.  "Season" gives us hope that taxes fill the air only for a few months before they disappear again for another year. Taxes and winter I think appropriately coincide with one another. Both are yucky, not necessarily welcome, totally out of our control and bring a bit of a dread to us.  If they were colors, they would be harvest gold - not eye appealing at all!

Like raisin sauce on ham, I could do without that day of angst with papers stacked all over the dining room table. I could do without that dreaded Saturday of tax preparation where with every entry into Turbo Tax I see the refund figure in the top right corner dwindle.  It's a race of sorts to see if I can get to the end with a refund or if, like playing iPhone blackjack, I watch it disappear by the time I get to the REVIEW YOUR RETURN section.

Computer technology has been out there for quite some time.  It keeps evolving faster than we can even understand.  E filing is not new.  It started in 1986 with 25,000 returns.  The following is right off the IRS site.....

The IRS e-file surpassed a landmark: 1 billion individual Form 1040 tax returns received and processed safely and securely. IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman has called IRS e-file one of the federal government’s most successful modernization programs.
 
Of course the IRS commissioner would say it's a great program.  And the CEO of Oscar Mayer would tell you he likes bologna and hot dogs:)
 
After e filing taxes it always shows pending status until the IRS and the state actually receive it electronically - typically 24-48 hours.  It's similar to an ACH/EFT transaction which leaves one financial institution destined for another. This year the IRS is limiting e filing submission/acceptance dates for returns with certain credits/deductions in them.  9 days later our returns still show pending.  Sort of incredible.
 
I decide to live chat with Turbo Tax this morning.  When I started I was number 40 in the que.  I have a hunch the 40 ahead of me had the same question I did - why are my returns not being processed even after 72 hours?  They informed me of what I shared with you above - the IRS has not started accepting "our" type of return yet.  And, when they do, we are in line behind millions of others. 
 
Now it's hard to get too sassy via a live chat feed with a representative from Turbo Tax who is probably sitting in a cubicle in Indonesia - it is both neither their fault nor do they have the power to change the IRS.  But, I none-the-less spoke my thoughts....
 
It seems that the IRS and the state have an entire year to get ready to accept
e filed returns of all types.  It is amazing that the IRS can want their
money by a certain date or a penalty is attached, but if you overpay and are
getting your own money back that you "loaned" them for the past year,
they drag their feet.  Sort of ridiculous and not a great business model.
 



 
Sometimes we say certain things hoping they will change the circumstances, and sometimes they do.  Other times, we say things knowing that, much like screaming if lost in the Grand Canyon to be heard by someone, it is futile.  We say them to get them off our chest, to acknowledge the obvious.  It though does not change one thing.  It's like screaming into a pillow.
 
I've had my fill of taxes.  And winter.  And Turbo Tax.  And especially the IRS' ineptness to keep up with the massive influx of E filers in a technologically advanced culture! 

 
What other company could not provide or deliver the products and services their business consists of in a timely and fiscally sound structure and remain viable? Only our government.  Only our government - which also has their hand in the USPS.  Need I say more?

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