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I used the free e-file software at hrblock.com for my federal return and paid for my state return. After paying but before finalizing and filing I checked the PDF version of my return and immediately found glaring errors. I haven't checked the whole return yet, and am a week into the process of having someone in their escalated support department look into it.

At this point I am afraid April 15th will arrive without this problem being solved.

  • Should I submit the return and rely on their guarantee that they will repay me any fines due to this sort of error?
  • Should I pay another service to do my taxes and seek a refund from hrblock.com?
  • Should I do them myself, partially based on the info gleaned while using their service, and then seek a refund?
  • Is there another approach I should take?

excerpt from return with arithmetic errors

  • 1
    What form is this? – littleadv Apr 5 '13 at 4:16
  • @littleadv Georgia form 500, page 6. This was the most obvious pair of errors, I didn't continue auditing the return for more on other forms. – Sparr Apr 5 '13 at 15:40
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You should not knowingly submit a false tax return. This would expose you to criminal sanctions in addition to fines and penalties. Obviously, criminal charges would be extremely unlikely in this case given the software you are using.

My advice to you is to wait and try to get this resolved to your satisfaction with hrblock.com. If you are unable to do so before April 15th, I would strongly advise that you use other software. It is entirely possible that the software is doing the calculation correctly. It looks obviously incorrect to me, but I'm not familiar with the tax code.

  • As you say, it looks incorrect to me, but I'm not familiar with the tax code, so I'm NOT knowingly submitting a false tax return. Once all the arithmetic is done, right or wrong, my effective tax rate is actually really close to what I expect, so maybe this is right and I'm just looking at it too simply. – Sparr Apr 5 '13 at 15:41
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You shouldn't sign a return that you're not 100% sure to be correct. You're signing the return under penalties of perjury, keep that in mind.

Since this is a State return, you can submit the Federal return separately, and wait with the State return until they figure the problem out. Or, you can do it manually on a PDF downloaded from here. You can use form IT-560 to request extension to file until October 15th. You can use the IRS form 4868 to request the extension for the Federal return as well. Remember - extension to file is not extension to pay - you need to submit payment you estimate to be your tax with the extension form. Be sure to have them sent before the 15th.

State tax returns are a frequent issue with the software providers, there are 50 (almost) of them, and each is a separate program.

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