CALIFORNIA FTB ‘READY TAX RETURN’ IS FREE,
ONLINE & HOW MARVELOUs.
(AND A WONDERFUL WAY TO MISS TAX DEDUCTIONS SO YOU CAN PAY TOO MUCH TAX, WHICH IS ALSO EASY AND FREE BUT ACTUALLY COST YOU A LOT IN EXTRA TAX UNDER THE BANNER OF ‘FREE’. SO IT IS NOT REALLY FREE.)

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FTB~JPEG~READY TAX RETURN~FROM 1099 INFO~LOOSE YOUR DEDUCTIONS~& IT IS FREE rlc 12 03 13_JPEG

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The program presented by the California State Franchise Tax Board looks so slick and easy. The cute gal tells you how easy it is to file your tax returns from the IRS Forms that are turned in by third party vendors on transactions they had with the tax payer during the year.

What is include is mostly income items because third party vendors are not usually required to give IRS Form 1099 type information to the government so that you get the proper deductions so you pay the proper tax after subtracting your deductions. They would include, but are not limited to the following: IRS Forms 1099 for interest income, dividend income, stock sales, real estate sales, and miscellaneous income from personal services. It would include the IRS Forms W-2 for wages you earned during the year and this one is so very obvious. It would also include the IRS Forms 1098 which are the bank and mortgage company reports on how much interest you paid on your home mortgage during the year and is an itemized deduction. The IRS Forms 1098 frequently do not show the amount of property tax you paid on your personal residence or on a rental property, so something is likely missing from your deductions.

 The problem is that the cute FTB spokesperson fails to tell the public about any of the pitfalls in the program.

  •   Does it also file your Federal IRS Tax returns at the same time? No.
  •   Does it make sure that your Federal IRS Tax returns match the same information on the CA FTB tax returns? No.
  •    Is it likely to encourage people not to be detailed and focused so that they do not miss any valid tax deductions that would reduce their tax liability? No.
  •   Does it offer helpful checklists so that you pay the lowest possible income taxes? No.
  •    Is it really free if you end up paying more tax than you need to pay by helping to omit tax deductions that you are entitled to claim? No.
  •   Does is say you have to come to the free & easy website with your federal income tax returns already completed so you can transfer your federal adjusted gross income on to the starting point of the state tax forms? No.
  •   Does it advise you that the accuracy of IRS Forms 1099 and other third party vendor reports may not be accurate and completely posted to your tax file information already in the FTB’s file because the FTB frequently gets most of its IRS Form 1099 information from the IRS and the IRS records are not normally reliable until September each year for the prior year data. This is long after the close of the tax year when the state tax filing due date is April 15? No.
  •   Does the nice spokesperson actually tell the consumers about the very limited types of taxpayers who would benefit from this free service meaning those with only W-2 wages and no deductions so essentially they would be filing a short form in the first place? No.
  •   Does the promotion say that Income Tax Forms have always been free from the government so why is being free on the internet any type of novel event or marvelous opportunity? No.
  •    With all the possible pitfalls in the program does it appear that adequate consumer warnings are included to keep the program offering from possibly being misleading to the intended users of the service? No.
  •    Is getting the program password, qualifying criteria, waiting for approval to the program so you can participate in the free and easy service sound easier than just getting a free and easy Short Form FTB 540-EZ, filling it out without a password, without an internet connections and paying a whopping 46 cent plus the cost of an envelop make the program a valuable improvement in meeting your tax reporting and taxpaying obligations? No.
  •    Would the State FTB obtain a benefit by increased tax ‘revenue’ if the taxpayer went to tax professional, show charged a fee that was less than the tax saved for the service and reduced the taxpayers overall cost on the entire transaction?  No.

So the program might have been designed for people who primarily have super simple tax returns in the first place where all their income comes mostly from wages, have low income, qualify for the program, and have nothing to deduct. I will not come to that conclusion for you. I am only evaluating the situation and will leave it up to your own judgment and your own conclusions for you to decide if the program would be a benefit for you or not.

You can see the following video on the program to help you in your evaluation process.

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These are the facts.  You can decide for yourself.
No tax or other professional services or recommendations are being offered in this news story.

FROM:
Rex L. Crandell Firm
Walnut Creek Office (For UPS/FedEx/OR if Signature Req’d Documents)
3000 Citrus Circle
Suite 207 – West Wing         [ Click For MAP TO OUR OFFICE]
(925) 934-6320
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Internet:           http://www.rexcrandell.com
Internet:           http://www.taxrexcrandell.com
Fax:                           (925) 934-6325
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All U.S. Mail items [Except if Signature is required]:
P.O. Box 30305- Dept.  Tax News Online
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