State isn't having much luck this year with Web sites that let the public file forms

It probably only seems like the DoR income-tax site was programmed by the same people who did our Obamacare site, but the net effect is the same: Plenty of people complaining tonight they can't file their taxes electronically.

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      Update: Three Hours Later

      By on

      Still working on the same Massachusetts State Tax return. It's an almost trivial return, with just a single W2 and 1099-HC to enter; nothing else!

      It was going along extremely slow, but at least steadily for the first couple of hours. Now however, it's refusing to go past the "Other Taxes and Contributions" section. Every time I try to "Save and Continue", it keeps timing out after several minutes with a server failure message:
      IMAGE(http://elmercatdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/mataxserverfailuremessage.jpg)

      Was slow this afternoon

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      But I persisted and made it through. I'm sure I waited 5 or more minutes for some steps but I resisted the temptation to try a refresh and eventually it moved on to the next step. Typically about 30 seconds to a minute to move to next step.

      Finally, It's Done!!!

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      It took over three-and-a-half hours. Total amount of refund: $0.00. Well, at least there's no tax due either!

      Now on to do a second return for another friend ... and then a third one for myself ...

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      The Site Sped Up Dramatically After 3:00 AM - Finished Two More!

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      I finished the second return in just twenty minutes; he wound up owing $53. Then, my own return sailed through in less than fifteen minutes! I'm actually getting a few dollars back, thanks to FastLane tolls and monthly Ⓣ passes.

      I hope it doesn't slow down again dramatically for people still trying to file their returns as the deadline approaches. The whole process is riddled with way too much drama to begin with!

      no fun

      By on

      I really enjoy waiting until the last minute to fill out paperwork. It adds a lot of anticipation and excitement to life. Now that the site is down and I know I will be unable to fill out the forms I feel deflated. :-/

      I filed Friday about mid day

      By on

      I filed Friday about mid day without any problems. It took a sec to load the next screen but otherwise worked great. I actually said to myself if only the folks who built this had done the health insurance site... still waiting to transition from commonwealth care...

      I did mine Apr 2 and had zero

      By on

      I did mine Apr 2 and had zero problems. I don't think huge server loads because people procrastinate is really the state's fault.

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      Not procrastination

      Many of the private e-file programs wouldn't work for MA at the last minute if you had any 1099 income. We were all set in another program before we left on an out-of-US trip, and then got a notification that we had to file MA separately because DOR made any return using schedule C incompatible with the fed return.

      Also, why pay taxes any sooner than you have to if you know that you will owe a good size chunk?

      Thanks

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      I was just about to say that. I pay and file early.

      And then the window of interest and fees doesn't start until after April 15th, so you have months to pay. The old excuse of "why file if you have to pay" doesn't work. (and I even wanna say that the interest doesn't start until 180 days after April 15th also, but don't quote me on that)

      it's just that these websites.. I've seen Turbo Tax do this.. pretty much make it impossible to file without paying back taxes. They make it seem like its required. When it really is not. This is why I have an accountant do my taxes because he takes care of all of that for me.

      btw, tax preparation is money well spent. My accountant did my taxes in about 20 minutes. Best tech barter I do all year! Plus you can write it off on next years taxes. It really is money well spent, and makes tax season less of a headache.

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      > Also, why pay taxes any

      > Also, why pay taxes any sooner than you have to if you know that you will owe a good size chunk?

      if your chunk is big enough, you have to pay interest, so owing can mean you want to file earlier.

      took me..

      By on

      about 2.5 hours Sunday morning to file. I did housework while I waited for pages load. I procrastinate on my state taxes because I usually owe; this year, $19 !

      Bad since Sunday

      Since you can't file your state taxes without finalizing your federal ones, we just started the process (it's usually really easy) on Sunday. It was impossible to do at that time-- literally, 20-30 minutes between page loadings, no joke.

      Yesterday during the day it was a bit better, but a fairly easy return took an hour and change, just waiting for pages to load. Normally, with everything lined up and ready to go, it can take 20 minutes or less.

      Thanks Obama!

      Had to dig out IE

      We couldn't even get the capcha to load in order to get into the system. I got up at 5:30 am to try to beat the rush, and had the same problem.

      So I then loaded it up in IE - it is working, but very slowly. It would help if they actually asked questions in a way that made sense so it would navigate more quickly (most people do NOT have farm income but many have 1099s ... so saying "like farm income" is stupid).

      This could all have been avoided if MA didn't play ultimate stupidity games with Schedule C filings ... that's why we couldn't get our fed file services to play nice. MA apparently demanded something non-standard or didn't cooperate with the feds and so many people have to use the MA file system as a result. Otherwise, we would have had this done far earlier.

      I filed business taxes last

      By on

      I filed business taxes last month. DOR claims they didnt get the extension (but I have a confirmation) and claim's they didnt get the $456 payment a few days later, even though my bank shows it went through.

      Screw the little people!

      I don't feel sorry

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      Kinda don't feel sorry for anyone who waited. Never understood why folks wait until the last minute because you really have no excuse why to wait (even if you have to pay), except for laziness.

      I have an accountant do mine (I trade tech services with him), so mine were done in early March. (and yes I had to pay too, and I still filed ahead of time).

      No Excuses, we do this every year, you know its coming..

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      The Commonwealth also knows this happens every year

      Perhaps they could plan ahead? Perhaps they could make sure that they make it possible for the major private software platforms to actually work with their systems for common inputs so they don't end up with a bunch of rejected returns going into April that have to be re-filed by inputting every last scrap of information all over again?

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      Uh

      By on

      There's nothing wrong with the coding of the site, as many others prior to this weekend filed OK. So there's nothing wrong.

      Complaining that the state doesn't have enough servers to cater to everyone who decided to wait till the last minute to file isn't an excuse. Maybe you should plan ahead next time.

      Sorry, you aren't getting any sympathy from me.

      PS - Y'all know you can just file extensions and its automatically accepted then you have several months to file?

      (I've never understood the mystification people have with MassDOR and the IRS and how clueless folks are about their taxes and what options are readily avaliable to people.. )

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      Cybah, try reading more carefully.

      The MA site works fine, but slow ... HOWEVER we had done our taxes using a different software package IN FEBRUARY.

      FEBRUARY!!!!!!!

      We found out in APRIL that the Commonwealth was not working with those providers where a certain common and standard federal schedule was involved.

      Thus we had to REFILE our return using the MA site AT THE LAST MINUTE.

      Had MA done things properly to begin with, and given these providers what they needed to handle this very common schedule, we would not have had to do this. Moreover, we probably aren't the only ones who got screwed over and had to jump in the queue.

      Try reading a little more carefully.

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      SwirlyDoll

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      You didn't SAY that already filed in FEBRUARY. Your statement above made it sound like it applied to you and were just blaming the server. Which now that you've clearly stated that it wasn't your fault so fine, you're right.

      Where's my fork, I'm hungry for some crow

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      She already filed

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      And had to file again.

      Paper forms are stupid.

      Who is annoying here, exactly?

      Paper forms

      Cannot be more annoying ... and they are possibly even more annoying than people who think they are an efficient use of time. Not everyone has simple taxes.

      You haven't addressed the

      By on

      You haven't addressed the main complaint here: That MA made their requirements incompatible with the Federal form, so those of us not privileged enough to have accountants on retainer need to redo our MA taxes if we did them ourselves with something like TurboTax.

      Privlidge

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      You are aware for about 30-40 bucks more than turbo tax you can have H&R Block file? Right? Even my old accountant only charged me 75 bucks (Turbo Tax is like ~40, depending on which package you choose)

      Try again with the 'privilege' knock. Its not as expensive as you think, and far worth the few extra bucks to save myself hassles like everyone is experiencing now.

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      I think the underlying

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      I think the underlying question here is why, in such a technology heavy state, does many things of real importance the state try to do turn out to be such a piece of crap? Between the health insurance site and now the state tax site.

      This is one of the few years I had someone else do my returns or else I may have ended up in the same situation.

      Why in MA of all places? Everyone from the Mayor to the Governor love to brag about how "wicked smaht" we are here in MA.

      Seems like the jokes on us...

      Blame the state

      By on

      Blame the state then..

      In the mean time, can you pass the crow?

      PS - I work indirectly for the state, I could tell you why it is.. but I'd be here for days trying to explain it.

      I used TurboTax again this year

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      Had no issues preparing or filing either my Federal or my Massachusetts return. So, if therey was an incompatibilty problem as some point, it's obviously been corrected.

      Oops

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      I don't use TurboTax because even when I didn't make enough money for them to charge me for filing a federal return, they still would charge extra to file the state return. And since I didn't like the idea of handing over more money for something that I felt could be free, I did it myself using the state website.

      Overall, MA's tax website isn't awful (when it is not suffering from overload on the servers) and the helpline is very helpful. It also helps that I think I have an inner CPA and I love doing taxes. I should probably see someone about that.

      Perhaps both DOR and the IRS

      By on

      need to totally reconsider this concept of "everyone has the same filing deadline". Renewing your vehicle registrations and getting your vehicle inspections are based on a particular month, why can't we do the same thing for income tax (for example - you file on the month of your birthday)?

      It would ease the workload for the DOR/IRS people, and would result in a steadier stream of revenue over the course of the year. It would also minimize problems like website overloading.

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      agreed

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      Like I said above, you can file an extension pretty easily so there's no real reason why they can't off shift this by a few weeks or something.

      Also, I wonder if there's an excuse for "the computer screwed up" and where they've identified there was a problem and it won't be held against you if you don't file on time because of THEIR mistake, not yours.

      Pathetic

      By on

      but not even close compared to the uber clusterf*** of the Affordable Care Act.

      procrastination

      By on

      Like others have already said, I filed about a week ago and had absolutely no problems. You can't really blame heavy traffic due to user procrastination on the people who run the website. And those who do (such as those who are comparing this to Obamacare website(s) - which, by the way, gave 7.1+ million people access to health insurance) are likely the ones most opposed to spending the money that would provide more servers and tech support to make these delays go away.

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      So you didn't apply for Obamacare insurance?

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      Because if you had, you would know that Mass. set up its own site separate from healthcare.gov and that it did, in fact, fail pretty miserably and that, unlike the federal site, still doesn't really work, which is why thousands of Mass. residents, many of whom voted for Obama and who fully support the idea of Obamacare (raises hand) still don't have permanent insurance (raises hand again) and why Mass., the state where the whole idea started, had to get a waiver to extend enrollment until June 30.

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      Hard to Feel Bad For You

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      When you wait until the last minute, you really are asking for this to be a problem....

      Had some problems....

      ... a month ago, but it worked a lot better before the flood of last-minute filers. (One of my sons was one of these -- and had to re-log in every 6 or 7 minutes).

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      Look at all those chumps

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      I filed my taxes over a year ago - Homer Simpson

      Um, Dad, that was last year. You have to file again this year - Lisa

      D'oh!

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