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I sent in my taxes back in early/mid April. I had two state returns and the federal. I've received my refunds from the states but still waiting on the Federal return. Obviously the virus is slowing things down but should I give them 6 weeks? 2 months?

And if I do reprint and resend them in at some point, is there anything special you have to do to alert them that this is the second attempt at filing the taxes?

Thanks
Rich
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I efiled DS's taxes back on March 14. He is due a refund, and it still says his taxes are in process. I also checked my SS earnings for DH and me, and neither reflect any earnings for 2019. I believe that all the folks who would answer the phone are not working, and so there has not been a way to call and check, so the wait has continued.

I am hopeful that once they all go back to work, the taxes that have not been processed will all go through. DS could certainly use that refund since he is not working.
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Thanks. Early signs aren't good. They don't have it in their system.
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Whatever you do, DO NOT send a second copy of the return. This will only cause more problems. There are many reasons that returns are held during processing in normal years but they usually clear fairly quickly. This year, all of the IRS campuses were shuttered during the pandemic and most remain closed without a scheduled re-opening date. Other than checking the IRS website regularly, there isn't much you can do. If the IRS opens its consumer phone lines, an agent might be able to provide more current information from the IRS's internal systems. Similarly, a credentialed tax professional (EA, CPA, attorney) can access the IRS internal systems directly with a Power of Attorney (Form 2848) or Tax Information Authorization (Form 8821).

The good news is that the IRS pays interest on refunds that are delayed more than 45 days from the latter of the filing due date or the received date. The current rate is 5% annually which is better than you can get elsewhere.

Ira
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I also checked my SS earnings for DH and me, and neither reflect any earnings for 2019.

Based on my limited experience with the My Social Security web site, the earliest that your 2019 earnings will be displayed is in the third quarter of calendar year 2020.

Given that 85% of my Social Security income is taxable, it would be nice for the web site to report how much of my taxable Social Security benefits went to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds.

Unless I've made a significant error in my calculations, after retiring it appears that I contribute more to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds than I did when I was employed.
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Unless I've made a significant error in my calculations, after retiring it appears that I contribute more to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds than I did when I was employed.

Net of what they pay you?

As always - tax law should not be equated with logic.

AJ
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Given that 85% of my Social Security income is taxable, it would be nice for the web site to report how much of my taxable Social Security benefits went to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds.

Unless I've made a significant error in my calculations, after retiring it appears that I contribute more to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds than I did when I was employed.


Your calculations are wrong. You are not contributing anything to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. Your Social Security benefits may be 85% taxable at your marginal tax rate, but that tax goes to the general fund of the US Treasury, not Social Security. (The exception might be if you are paying more for your Part B and Part D coverage due to high income.)

Ira
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And if I do reprint and resend them in at some point...

Sounds like a good reason for filing electronically when possible.
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Sounds like a good reason for filing electronically when possible.

Or, sending via a service that provides proof of delivery, when it's not possible to electronically file.

AJ
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Unless I've made a significant error in my calculations, after retiring it appears that I contribute more to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds than I did when I was employed.

Net of what they pay you?


Using the 22% marginal tax rate on 50% of my 2019 Social Security annual benefits earmarked for the OASDI Trust Fund, the taxes on the benefit exceeds the FICA OASDI withholding from my earnings during 2012 my last full year of employment. The tax is equivalent to approximately 1.5 months of Social Security benefits.

Since retiring and starting to receive Social Security benefits in February 2013, I have received in benefits 139% of my and my employers' total FICA OASDI contributions starting in June 1959 and ending in January 2013.

I am constantly bemused by comments that I see in articles about Social Security where the commenters claim that they will never recover their and their employers' FICA OASDI contributions. I and my employers' contributed to FICA OASDI for 54 years. It took less than 7 years for me to receive the equivalent amount in benefits.
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Your calculations are wrong. You are not contributing anything to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. Your Social Security benefits may be 85% taxable at your marginal tax rate, but that tax goes to the general fund of the US Treasury, not Social Security. (The exception might be if you are paying more for your Part B and Part D coverage due to high income.)

Are you sure? Taxation of Social Security benefits was enacted into law in 1983 and designated that the taxes were to be deposited in the OAS and DI Trust Funds.

The Social Security Office of the Actuary reports that 3.5% of the trust funds income is from taxes on up to 50% of an individual's Social Security benefit. Were the taxes on benefits going into the General Fund, Congress would need to pass a law each year to transfer it to the Social Security trust funds.
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I will admit I learned something today. You are correct that the tax attributable to Social Security payments is earmarked for the OASDI and Medicare trusts. I'm not at all sure how the IRS handles the mechanics of this. Do IRS computers recalculate the tax liability with and without the Social Security benefits, realizing that changes to AGI affect many moving parts of the entire tax picture?

Ira
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All dollars are not created equal, at least no over a 54 year span. Inflation makes such a simple comparison a distortion.
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I am constantly bemused by comments that I see in articles about Social Security where the commenters claim that they will never recover their and their employers' FICA OASDI contributions. I and my employers' contributed to FICA OASDI for 54 years. It took less than 7 years for me to receive the equivalent amount in benefits.

Social Security tax rates and the income base that is subject to the tax have gone up substantially since you started working. In addition, thanks to the ‘bend points’ in the formulas used to calculate benefit levels, folks with higher income levels get a lower rate of return than those with lower income levels. Also, under current law, if nothing is done to shore up Social Security, the program will not be able to pay its full benefit levels starting around 2035.

Put all those factors together and it gets fairly straightforward to get to a lousy expected return rate from Social Security for many people fairly new to the workforce. Add some less than idealized life expectancy assumptions to the mix (ie: both my grandfathers died around age 70), and the calculated expected return rates from Social Security for higher income younger workers can get very negative, very quickly.

Regards,
-Chuck
Discovery/HR Home Fool
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Put all those factors together and it gets fairly straightforward to get to a lousy expected return rate from Social Security for many people fairly new to the workforce. Add some less than idealized life expectancy assumptions to the mix (ie: both my grandfathers died around age 70), and the calculated expected return rates from Social Security for higher income younger workers can get very negative, very quickly.

Please remember, Social Security isn't an investment with a rate of return. It's an insurance policy protecting against longevity, spousal death, and injury. Old Age, Survivor's and Disability Insurance is the true name of Social Security. One doesn't calculate the ROI on other forms of insurance, life, auto, liability, or fire. And like other forms of insurance, those who pay the premium and don't collect subsidize those who do.

Rat's I lost money on my life insurance policy. I should have died sooner.
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Social Security tax rates and the income base that is subject to the tax have gone up substantially since you started working.

Since they "started" yes, but not substantially for most of that period. Guessing they started 2020-(54+7+~4)= 1955 when the rate was only 2%, but it went to 4.2% within 10, and 5.85% within another 10, not really so much lower than today's 6.2%.

Put all those factors together and it gets fairly straightforward to get to a lousy expected return rate from Social Security for many people fairly new to the workforce.

Social Security isn't about "rate of return", it's about assuring Americans they won't be living in penury and eating dog food when corporate America has no further use for them. It's true that some individuals would do better - even much better - investing that themselves, but it is equally true that many, perhaps most wouldn't. Some people will never need fire insurance, but they pay for it anyway. Is that a waste of money?

In the 1930's, when it began, more than half of elders lived in poverty. Now that percentage is in single digits. Along the way benefits have been added for disability injuries, for non-working spouses and more.

Add some less than idealized life expectancy assumptions to the mix (ie: both my grandfathers died around age 70)

Yes, well that's how it works. Also annuities, life insurance, and a host of other things provided by the private market. Complaining about this is like saying "Why should I buy car insurance? I just won't have any accidents!"

Also, under current law, if nothing is done to shore up Social Security, the program will not be able to pay its full benefit levels starting around 2035.

Also, some day all insurance plans will be bankrupt, bank runs inevitable, food shortages epidemic, and the planet will be incinerated in a fireball as the sun implodes. Therefore we should do nothing to alleviate any of the problems on earth, because we might not be able to fix them.

Or, you know, we could recognize Social Security for what it is, a program which has been *hugely successful* at insuring a minimum quality of life for older Americans, who contributed to making a better quality of life for their forebears, and for the generation before that.
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