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Author: Follydolly Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121322  
Subject: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/19/2010 4:51 PM
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I have to admit, I am a dummy when it comes to taxes. Always had a CPA and just started with TT in 2007 because my taxes are not that convoluted and CPA was charging me $500.

I was on the phone today with TT for three+ hours. It seems that they neglected to report that they deducted Medicare payments under SS and everyone who included it with their medical insurance payments have to amend their tax returns and of course pay more $$$. That be me.

I just do what TT says when filling out my returns. I also had an issue that they report my SS payments as being more 2009 than 2008. SS was not increased 2009 and no one seems to be able to help with that one. So now I am thinking they probably did not deduct enough from my Medicare payments which are currently $220 per/m because of RMD income. Seems the person I spoke with is not a CPA and really knows nada. He asked me what an RMD is LOL.

Next year, back to CPA. At least they are refunding my $67 which will help pay for ink to print and stamps to mail the amended files.

Birgit, done ranting for now.
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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110456 of 121322
Subject: Re: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/19/2010 6:55 PM
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I was on the phone today with TT for three+ hours. It seems that they neglected to report that they deducted Medicare payments under SS and everyone who included it with their medical insurance payments have to amend their tax returns and of course pay more $$$. That be me.

I just do what TT says when filling out my returns. I also had an issue that they report my SS payments as being more 2009 than 2008. SS was not increased 2009 and no one seems to be able to help with that one.



hmmm... that all seemed rather straight-forward to me from the 1099 (?) from SS.
(my SS did ,thought, COLA up in 2009 /not in 2010)



=
thinking i should double-check but wouldn't know what to look for

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Author: irasmilo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110457 of 121322
Subject: Re: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/19/2010 7:32 PM
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I have to admit, I am a dummy when it comes to taxes. Always had a CPA and just started with TT in 2007 because my taxes are not that convoluted and CPA was charging me $500.

I have to admit I don't understand what follows. <g>

I was on the phone today with TT for three+ hours. It seems that they neglected to report that they deducted Medicare payments under SS and everyone who included it with their medical insurance payments have to amend their tax returns and of course pay more $$$. That be me.

Who neglected to report? Medicare B and/or Medicare D payments are deductible as medical insurance. So, I don't understand what your problem was. Perhaps, you forgot to use the numbers reported to you on Form SSA-1099 when you prepared your return?

I just do what TT says when filling out my returns. I also had an issue that they report my SS payments as being more 2009 than 2008. SS was not increased 2009 and no one seems to be able to help with that one. So now I am thinking they probably did not deduct enough from my Medicare payments which are currently $220 per/m because of RMD income. Seems the person I spoke with is not a CPA and really knows nada. He asked me what an RMD is LOL.

Your SS payments should have been more in 2009 than 2008 as there was a COLA increase. Your net monthly deposit may have decreased if your income is high enough to require additional payments towards Medicare coverage, but again, all of this is included in the SSA-1099.

I've not heard of anyone else having problems with TurboTax and Social Security payments, so I can only surmise that you entered the wrong data.

Ira

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110460 of 121322
Subject: Re: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/19/2010 8:33 PM
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I have to admit I don't understand what follows. <g>

I was on the phone today with TT for three+ hours. It seems that they neglected to report that they deducted Medicare payments under SS and everyone who included it with their medical insurance payments have to amend their tax returns and of course pay more $$$. That be me.

Who neglected to report? Medicare B and/or Medicare D payments are deductible as medical insurance. So, I don't understand what your problem was. Perhaps, you forgot to use the numbers reported to you on Form SSA-1099 when you prepared your return?


A possible translation, Turbo Tax asked for the Medicare payments when the SSA-1099 was entered and automatically included them as a medical insurance payment. Not realizing they were already included in the medical insurance payments, the OP entered the Medicare payments again as a medical deduction.

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110463 of 121322
Subject: Re: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/20/2010 1:11 AM
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I've not heard of anyone else having problems with TurboTax and Social Security payments, so I can only surmise that you entered the wrong data.



made me look.

in the sort-of-doing-1040-Income section, TT asks for 'NET' SS (box 5, SSA-1099), and Medicare premiums (and tax) withheld) ..which it puts in the SS work sheet and line 20a of 1040


in the sort-of-doing-Schd.A-expenses section, TT asks for Ins premiums ,but says do NOT include Medicare premiums (in a pop-up ,they explain they mean premiums deducted from SS ..so it could be confusing that they mean ALL*)


also confusing -- box 5 'Net' benefits are Net of re-payments, NOT net of Medicare premiums. (not 12* your check)

so TT takes the premiums on 1099 + other premiums and puts them all in sched-A.

... makes sense to me, if no one else <G>






* i think i'm typical in that Part B and Part D premiums are deducted from SS ,but Supplemental premium is not

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Author: lethean Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110469 of 121322
Subject: Re: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/20/2010 9:15 AM
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Actually, my CPA made this mistake on 2008 return ... or rather I led him to make the mistake.

I listed medicare premiums (noting that some were debited from SS benefit and some were debited from checking account*), and I also turned in SSA - 1099. All premiums were included on the tax return which resulted in a double counting of some medicare premiums.

My fault, in hindsight. I tried to be explicit by detailing ALL the medicare premiums and the source of payment. All it did was confuse the issue because the detailing was listed under health insurance premiums. Ugh.

*I suspended SS benefits midyear but continued medicare payments via checks for the remainder of the year.

Lethean

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110472 of 121322
Subject: Re: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/20/2010 1:06 PM
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Turbo Tax generates nice looking returns with no math errors. The interview process gives a false sense of security. The interview process does help with temporary tax changes that unexpected apply. It is still necessary to understand and verify every line on the generated tax return. Every year, I answer the questions its asks as I believe they should be and the farm rental income ends up on the wrong form. It takes several trys (and some grumpy comments which the software ignores) before it is handled correctly.

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Author: ptheland Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110474 of 121322
Subject: Re: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/20/2010 1:13 PM
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Actually, my CPA made this mistake on 2008 return ... or rather I led him to make the mistake.

Been there, done that, have the t-shirt, and lost the client.

Having been burned (more than once) by this, I now try to clarify with my clients exactly what they are including in medical insurance when they're also paying for medicare via deduction from their Social Security benefits.

It's a pretty easy mistake to make.

--Peter

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Author: Donna405 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110476 of 121322
Subject: Re: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/20/2010 11:05 PM
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It would be so much simpler, to just hand the SS1099 to the tax preparer and then list the premiums paid out of pocket.

Donna

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Author: ptheland Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110477 of 121322
Subject: Re: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/20/2010 11:46 PM
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It would be so much simpler, to just hand the SS1099 to the tax preparer and then list the premiums paid out of pocket.

<grinning>
I think I love you. Will you be my client? ;-)


You'd be surprised at the number of people who think I can't add those two figures together. Of course, that's from people who could do their own return, but think the IRS is less likely to audit them if they have a CPA do it. And their return is really pretty simple - it should only take me a half hour or so. Nevermind that they had 6 jobs during the year, each with a W-2. Plus their stock account where they didn't really make any money, so do I have to report all of those stock transactions? And then have to tell me their life story, and how the IRS screwed their aunt's housekeeper's cousin's daughter's life up when the wrote a bunch of letters that she ignored.

And then their check bounces.

--Peter <== suffering post-tax-season-stress-disorder today

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Author: bacon Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110478 of 121322
Subject: Re: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/21/2010 8:07 AM
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And then their check bounces.

I know some folks in Chicago that can help you with that. <g>

Eric Hines

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Author: Follydolly Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110479 of 121322
Subject: Re: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/21/2010 9:50 AM
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A possible translation, Turbo Tax asked for the Medicare payments when the SSA-1099 was entered and automatically included them as a medical insurance payment. Not realizing they were already included in the medical insurance payments, the OP entered the Medicare payments again as a medical deduction.

Thank you. Exactly. My medicare insurance payment was deducted twice because TT did not state they would deduct these payments automatically. So I had to amend my taxes. While going through State taxes, TurboTax got confused, kept saying I had this huge refund, when I did not. We went back over state taxes multiple times and could not get rid of this refund. My "helper" was not very knowledgeable, which did not help either. Like the "halt leading the blind" situation

Birgit

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Author: Follydolly Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110480 of 121322
Subject: Re: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/21/2010 9:52 AM
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Turbo Tax called me and told me they left of the little box stating they are automatically deducting Medicare payments and told me I had to amend my taxes.

Birgit

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Author: Wradical Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110481 of 121322
Subject: Re: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/21/2010 10:24 AM
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A possible translation, Turbo Tax asked for the Medicare payments when the SSA-1099 was entered and automatically included them as a medical insurance payment. Not realizing they were already included in the medical insurance payments, the OP entered the Medicare payments again as a medical deduction.
=============================================
Moral of the story:
Turbo Tax (or any tax software program) will do the math for you, but you can't let it do your thinking for you.
You still have to check over the output-the completed return - for accuracy and reasonableness.
This is a point I keep repeating to our younger crew in the office, who figure they have it all entered right, and don't bother doing that last step - checking the output for accuracy. After all, that's what Bill is there for, right?

Worse - they ask me a question, and I point to a number on the return, and say, "OK, but is that the right number?"
Response: (Deer-in-the-headlights stare) "Well, I ASSUME so. (the program) calculated it." WRONG ANSWER.

Worst of all - my two pet peeves:
1. System-generated client letter addressed to a deceased client.
2. 4 quarterly estimates, and a refund on the return. (WHY make a client write a bigger check, with a refund coming? You don't, if you're thinking at all.)

Those two things quickly tell me they're not looking at their finished work. That's the difference between a professional and an assembly-line worker.


Bill <--recovering from 35th tax season.

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Author: Follydolly Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110483 of 121322
Subject: Re: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/21/2010 4:23 PM
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I hear you. In my case, TT made an error in their program, so it cost them time and a refund of fees. I, OTOH, am clueless about filling out my tax forms - always had a CPA till I retired my business. I thought I could just follow direction with TT, but now I don't think so. Back to the CPA.

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Author: EarlyToRise Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110484 of 121322
Subject: Re: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/21/2010 4:39 PM
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.I, OTOH, am clueless about filling out my tax forms - always had a CPA till I retired my business. I thought I could just follow direction with TT

I don't mean to pile on, but I'm afraid that was a pretty bad assumption. I've used tax software in the past, but I don't have any idea how I would have navigated the interviews and arrived at the right information if I hadn't had a pretty good (layman's) understanding of the underlying tax law and the relevant forms.

ETR (whose tax returns have been more complex than probably is average, and has not regretted hiring a CPA the past 2 years)

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Author: bacon Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110485 of 121322
Subject: Re: A Pox on Turbo Tax Date: 5/21/2010 6:36 PM
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they ask me a question, and I point to a number on the return, and say, "OK, but is that the right number?"
Response: (Deer-in-the-headlights stare) "Well, I ASSUME so. (the program) calculated it."


When I was starting out in the USAF all those years ago, the service was switching over to automated systems, and I got to learn one of them (can you say SAGE?). As we were being trained on the automated system, the instructor occasionally would reach over and shut off the computer's calculation capability, saying, "Go manual." And all too frequently, Bonnie or Clyde would invite us to go manual by malfunctioning.

We learned to use the automation for all it was worth, and we learned to do things manually, also. That last is a skill--a requirement--that is lost to today's youth. Even the assembly line worker, whose sole role today seems to be to rubber stamp the robot's decisions.

Eric Hines

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