I am compelled to interrupt the post string to ALERT taxpayers that using the Online Fillable Forms on the www.irs.gov website may be to their detriment!
Yesterday, as I was filing, I noticed that on form 8812, the number automatically calculated for Lines 2 and 3 were INCORRECT! The number on Line 2 SHOULD have been the number on Line 3, and the number on Line 3 SHOULD have been the number on Line 2. These automatically calculated & entered numbers could NOT be deleted, NOR fixed by any means. This means that, on this particular form, whatever number (in this case, an INCORRECT number) was on Line 3 was then automatically calculated and entered on Line 13 of that form, as well as on Line 65 of the 1040! This resulted in an ERROR of $104. in this particular case- meaning it REDUCED the TOTAL REFUND BECAUSE of an automated INCORRECT entry.
PLEASE BE AWARE that this may NOT be the ONLY form where errors are happening.
One must ask 'WHO is this benefiting?'
One significant problem with people who were raised using only calculators, and hence, trusting the figures generated by machines, is that they cannot/do not check these figures by doing the math long-hand. They BELIEVE those automated calculations to be correct, and mistakenly assume that these machines cannot make any errors. Furthermore, most of these people who were raised using calculators do not generally have the skill or know-how to do math the 'old-fashioned way', using a pen and paper and their own brain.
This error with the IRS Online Free Filing Fillable Forms can- and already may -lead to millions and millions of taxpayers either RECEIVING LESS ON THEIR REFUND than what is owed to them, or they may end up PAYING MORE TAX than they actually owe.
Again- WHO is benefiting? The IRS CLAIMS these forms are furnished by independent companies that are not part of the IRS. In researching the particular alleged company yesterday, I found the phone number (supposedly to resolve problems) given to me BY the IRS man did not actually GO to the alleged company, but instead, went to a Conferencing company. This company assured me that they only organize conferences for other companies, and had nothing to do with the company the iRS said they did, nor did they have anything to do with the IRS. I tried the number twice;both times reaching this Conferencing company.
When I researched further, I did find a few articles referring to the company the IRS said was responsible for these online fillable forms. The phone numbers on the articles gave the same exact number (the one that reaches the conferencing company, and NOT the company responsible for the fillable forms for the IRS). The articles also gave a second number, supposedly for use 'internationally'. However, the second number was a Disconnected phone line.
It made me wonder where the excess money owed to taxpayers was ultimately going to...Is it STAYING in the US Treasury, even though it is owed to taxpayers? OR is it being funneled off to somewhere else? In either case, it would behoove the taxpayer to DOUBLE CHECK ALL FIGURES if they are filing using the online Free Filing forms.
When I finally -after several hours- was able to reach someone who could do something about the errors generated automatically with these programs, I was told that the IRS has been "riddled with errors on these programs" and is working to resolve them. Of course, this may not be easily done, since REPORTING any errors takes HOURS and lots of PERSERVERANCE- the IRS may not even KNOW about ALL the problems UNLESS they ARE reported! Most people will not go to such lengths to report them. I did because I thought it was important that it gets corrected, as it may assist other taxpayers- some of whom won't even realize they are getting ripped off!
So PLEASE BE CAREFUL when filing online. I would advise to do your forms long-hand, and double check everything BEFORE attempting to use the online fillable forms (or any other online method). This will allow you to check to see if the figures are correct, and if they've been entered on the correct lines.
A fellow with the IRS actually went online, attempted to fill it out correctly, and agreed tha2C even if they have already filed!! PLEASE be mindful.
If anyone else finds or has had similar problems, you can report them to the IRS Website Support Team at:
1-800-876-1715, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time