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It's April 18. Do You Know Where Your Tax Return Is?

We've got a story this morning about a meltdown in Intuit's tax-filing system that may have delayed the returns of many TurboTax users who tried to file electronically yesterday. (Also, see this Slashdot discussion.)

I may be among the TurboTax users affected--I tried to file three or four times before the program told me that my return had been submitted, a little after noon yesterday. I guess I'm just going to have to wait and see what happens next; there's nothing I can do at this point.

It's unclear why this happened. The last-minute rush to file is not exactly a new thing and the growing popularity of e-filing should not have surprised anybody. (This, in spite of fees that rose from $14.95 to $16.95 for TurboTax users.)

How did things work out for you? Let me know in the comments, including what tax-prep program you used and when you filed. Please also share your own "Intuit shouldn't have used their BlackBerry to transmit everybody's returns" joke.

(PS: To anybody who says "don't wait to file until the last minute": LALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU)

By Rob Pegoraro  |  April 18, 2007; 12:41 PM ET
Categories:  The business we have chosen  
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Comments

Geez Rob, I filed in February.

This is one reason why I don't do online filing, or online banking for that matter. Too buggy, insecure, and unstable.

Posted by: wiredog | April 18, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

CompleteTax, no problems, yesterday late afternoon.

Posted by: A | April 18, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Used TurboTax (can I deduct those fees next year for tax prep purposes?), filed Monday night, still waiting for confirmation.

Posted by: Stormy | April 18, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Taxact.com also had problems throughout yesterday. It filed with IRS but didn't allow any printing.

Posted by: PR in Manhattan | April 18, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I found out this weekend that I was ineligible for e-filing so I spent my Monday afternoon in line at the Post Office instead of on-line.

Posted by: slar | April 18, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I did mine on Saturday using Turbo Tax with no problems.. but boyfriend's were done Monday and he hasn't gotten a confirmation.

Posted by: Sara | April 18, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I filed in March, via TurboTax on the web -- it still took 2 days before I received the email that said it was accepted. Then you go back to the website and finalize the efiling. It took about 3 weeks to have the state refund post to my bank account and one additional week to see the federal refund.

Posted by: rjrjj | April 18, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

If it makes you feel any better, the only reason I did my taxes in Feb. was to fill out my stupid FAFSA form on time. That thing is way more annoying. Oh yeah, used TaxAct, worked fine.

Posted by: booyah | April 18, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

It took me several hours to get through to the Intuit servers. I'm pretty certain that this is due to poor quality control in their software. Most of my transmission attempts quickly produced the "Try again after 4am" dialog, but a half dozen attempts successfully uploaded my returns and then failed at the last second with some truly bizarre error dialogs. I'm a software engineer and that looks like a bug to me. The result of this bug would be to greatly increase the load on Intuit's servers because of everyone having to retry over and over again. I think that Intuit shot themselves in the foot and now they are trying to put the blame on the taxpayers for expecting their service to be reliable.

On another subject, why do we have to pay to file our tax returns? If it saves the IRS money, shouldn't they pay us? Why does the money go to Intuit? Is this just corporate welfare?

Posted by: Ender | April 18, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I used TurboTax and sent my federal return in electronically on Tuesday afternoon, and more than 24 horus later, it's still pending. But I didn't have any problems e-filing online, and it seems to have gone OK. I got my check in the mail, at least. (Since I owe, I wanted to delay the payment a little longer. Sad, but true.)

Posted by: The Cosmic Avenger | April 18, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

From the IRS website: "Taxpayers, Tax Professionals with TurboTax Problems Have Until Midnight April 19 to e-file"

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=169583,00.html

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I used Taxcut to file on March 20. I didn't see any reason to wait until the last minute since you could schedule payment up until today.
I got confirmation the next day and yes, the IRS got their money from my bank account yesterday (so, I hedged a little bit and scheduled for the 16th...).

Posted by: Frank S. | April 18, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Used TaxAct for the 3rd year in a row, uploaded early Monday morning in between electrical power fluctuations due to wind, got an immediate email of receipt followed by an email of acceptance a few hours later.

Posted by: ~sg | April 18, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Filed with Turbo Tax last week and Fed was accepted within two hours - the program had some more bugs than usual and it was harder to override mistakes (form info didnt always sync with the interview part) but filing seemed to go well. Five days went by and DC return was still pending. Finally gave up waiting and mailed in a check anyway, not wanting to be late w payment. Last night, when checking whether it had been accepted, turbo tax status said "YOU HAVE NOT FILED A RETURN." Instructions said if we got that message we should RE-file --which (in retrospect) would have been a huge mistake. Tried around twenty times to do so as the clock ticked (worrying that they might get two or more copies) Even though TT said I had not filed, the charge for filing fed and state was already posted on my credit card...!!! ) When re-filing, one time around 9 PM progress bar for submission got to around 80% and then the program said "come back in 10 minutes." Came back in ten minutes and the program said "Come back in two hours". This went on all night. Turbo Tax status could no longer be checked.Turbo Tax "help" was non-existent or inaccurate. When I finally got through to check status again it said "YOU HAVE NOT FILED YOUR RETURN." File by midnight. What a nightmare. By around 2 AM DC status was back to "pending." Speaking of which - you might also want to look into why it took DC so long to accept returns that were filed nearly a week ago--several people at work were also waiting...waiting... waiting for their DC e-filed returns to clear and wondering why you can't pay DC tax electronically when you e-file. (you have to wait for turbo tax to confirm that your return was accepted, then MAIL in a check.) That may have triggered a lot of extra traffic on their servers since so many who had filed had still not been 'accepted." Thanks for following up on this - it was really awful for hundreds of thousands of people -- not all of whom were "procrastinators." (Not that there's anything wrong with that!) Turbo Tax really dropped the ball this time.

Posted by: SleepyinDC | April 18, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I used TaxAct. Filed on Sunday, April 9 about 10 pm MDT. Got an acceptance notice from the IRS within 15 minutes. Thought the quick response was because I owed them . Glad I didn't wait 'til the last 24 hours.

Posted by: MMRudy | April 18, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm missing something here. If I have to send in supporting documents anyway, why should I also pay to file online, especially since I have to send my return to some third party firm? Electronic filing isn't inherently more secure than the mail.

I sent my tax return by certified snail mail with a confirmation of receipt. I go to a little, local post office. No lines, no hassle, and I have proof that I sent the forms in.

Posted by: KP | April 19, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I too don't understand the appeal of e-filing. When the cost of certified mail is figured in, e-filing is $10-12 more. I guess if one's refund is sufficiently large (and one's bank account pays sufficiently high interest), the faster turnaround time could pay off. But if one's refund is small, or if one actually owes tax, why would one ever pay to e-file?

Posted by: Tom T. | April 19, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I had problems with TurboTax eFile last year, so went to paper and snail mail this year, avoiding lines by mailing on Monday, bringing along a good supply of stamps, and using the scale in the PO. I owe money, so I'm OK if it takes the IRS a few extra days to reduce my bank balance.

Posted by: Tony W | April 19, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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