Thursday, May 3, 2012

Filing federal tax return saga ends finally!

As told by representative, I got back fees that I paid for filing free federal tax return.

I have prepared my tax return as much as I could have done in the month of March, but it was not fully prepared as I was expecting a couple of schedule K-1s. Finally I received schedule K-1 and I was excited to complete preparing my tax return.  By the way, I learned that one can get schedule K-1 online before he/she receives paper one. Anyways back to the theme, as I received schedule K-1, I logged into my account to complete tax return.  When I logged in, all data was wiped out!

So I called the company and found out the reason. I had already had a username with them which I used to file my tax return in the past, but for whatever reason I created new username to file tax return for this year. And when I received schedule K-1 I logged in using my old user name. Because of this, system wiped out all the information that I entered for filing tax return using my other username.

Now representative told me to use to old username. Representative asked me to pay fees again and mentioned that I will get refund after 2-4 weeks. So I did that and I entered everything I thought it was necessary to enter. Now I was feeling very good thinking I am done preparing my return. Somehow I like to things on deadline and I decided not to file my tax return before second week of April.

Second week of April came and I was ready to file my income tax return finally. Before I do so, I decided to check my prepared tax return again to make sure I did not make any mistake on it. While doing so, I found out that I did not fill form 6781. So I looked for that form, but could not find it on the version of software that I was using for filing my tax return. I tried calling them, but it was not working hours and I had to wait for next day to do so. It was a couple of days before filing deadline and I did not want to wait for next day. So I googgled it and read somewhere that this form is available if I use premium version of software. I thought I had no choice but to pay for this premium version now. So I did. I paid for premium version. And guess what? I still could not find form 6781. Now it was late at night and I was tired so I decided to call it a night thinking I will call next day and they will tell me where to find the form and I will fill it and will file my tax return.

So next day I called and representative told me that they don’t support form 6781!

Now deadline for filing tax return was next day and I had to find an alternative. So I thought I would use turbotax. So I looked it up and I found out that due to deadline they increased their prices. Basic version was for fifty bucks for filing federal tax return. I had to file federal and state tax return and I also knew that I might need to go with higher version as I had to file form 6781. So me being frugal, I did not even bother to check prices for state filing and higher version. Since I like to understand tax forms, I knew about every form I had to file. So I filed my federal tax return using and I filed my state return for free using

This time it is Health Insurance Company

My health insurance company charges me a couple of days before 1st of every month. E.g. for the month of February, I would be charged around 29th January.

In mid April, I changed my health plan. My old premium was $135. Due to change in coverage my new premium would be $109.

At the end of April I was going to be charged for month of May. Since I changed my plan in the middle of April, I was expecting that my total charge would be $109(premium for new plan) minus credit from April. As I was charged end of March for April coverage and I changed my plan id mid April, I was expecting credit.

But I was charged $135. So I called them and explain issue to representative. Representative kept me on the hold for few times while she was researching my account. But she was not able to resolve the issue and she asked me to call me back. She called me back within an hour as I asked her to do so and she said system made a mistake and I would get credit when I would be charged at the end of May. I hope things would work out and I won’t have to call them again.

It is frustrating that companies keep making these kinds of mistakes and we have to keep looking at our bills in detail every time we make some changes to plan. Issues are being resolved after calling them, but is annoying to do so. I wish companies would not make these kinds of mistakes in the first place so we don’t need to waste our time and energy.

Here is an interesting fact. I came across these kinds of scenarios few times, but I never came across scenario when I was charged less by mistake. Would companies doing these kinds of things on purpose hoping people won’t notice and they would able to charge more than what they are suppose to?