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Discussion:PAPERLESS - Does the IRS require taxpreparer to print out tax return copy for Taxpayer?

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Discussion Forum Index --> Business Growth Community --> PAPERLESS - Does the IRS require taxpreparer to print out tax return copy for Taxpayer?


Tas46 (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2008
In an effort to largely eliminate extra printing, I am considering burning my clients tax return copies and DMS files onto CDROM and NOT provide them with a hard copy? Is this allowed by the IRS? This is not a question of efficiency rather is this allowed under the IRS regulations. It would seem to me that if the client requests hard copy it would have to be provided in a format that was conducive to their personal situation. Any thoughts?

Solomon (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2008
Read TD 9436.

Lhhesscpa (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2008
Where are the 2 of you that the date you posted your messages is already Dec. 30?

Solomon (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2008
Texas - CST. When I look at my preferences, it shows a server time 6 hours ahead of my CST.

Lhhesscpa (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2008
That would be Greenwich Mean Time (i.e. in the UK). You must work some unusual hours there in Tejas or your "country" has its own time zone. <g> -- Larry Hess, CPA | Albuquerque, NM

Solomon (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2008
Notice the date of your post - 30 December 2008. Check the date and time in your preferences and probably will be a five hour differential.

Lhhesscpa (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2008
That's a good point. I checked it before I started this little conversation & again just now. My prefs say GMT -7:00 hrs for the Mountain time zone & the current time is correctly shown as 19:58. So maybe there's something screwy with TaxAlmanac. I'll leave a message for Tim. -- Larry Hess, CPA | Albuquerque, NM

Tdoyle (talk|edits) said:

December 30, 2008
TaxAlmanac is based upon the MediaWiki software which is designed to understand UTC / Greenwich Mean Time, and then to allow each individual user to set their own timezone in their preferences. This setting then adjusts all times and dates listed in the recent changes listing, the history tabs of all pages, etc. The one place that it does not work is the date stamp here on the discussion pages. These are saved when each person replies to a discussion based upon their own timezone settings and are not adjusted based upon the timezone preferences of each viewer. Thus, if someone is in or has their timezone improperly set to a timezone which has already changed to the 30th, but a viewer is still in a timezone in which it is the 29th, this can result.

To check and/or change your personal timezone settings, make sure you're logged in, select "preferences" on the very top line of any page (WAY up at the top right), then select Date and Time, then click on the "fill in from browser" button. This should set the proper timezone offset for your location. Then click the save button. You'll need to do this after daylight savings time changes twice each year to make sure your zone is properly set. Anyone who has not set this is probably set to London time. If they then post later in the evening, their posts will seem to have been posted one day ahead.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 08:20, 30 December 2008 (CST)

Tdoyle (talk|edits) said:

December 30, 2008
Note that this issue is only with the date stamps here on the discussion pages. The correct dates & times are properly shown on the history tab and on the discussion forum index.

Lhhesscpa (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2008
I looked at the history of my posts above & see that they actually are dated Dec. 29. So I conclude that the first poster in this discussion has their timezone set to GMT and the apparent timezones all subsequent posts are similarly affected. -- Larry Hess, CPA | Albuquerque, NM

Wkstaxprep (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2008
I always give client hard copy and in some cases pdf file, more professional looking than giving nothing.

question: my understanding is that a preparer only needs to keep pages 1 and 2 of the 1040 for our records - true ?

thanks

Will

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2008
no, you don't even need that, Will. Just a list of the taxpayer, ID and type of return prepared.

Southparkcpa (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2008
Imagine that, not keeping a copy of the return as a preparer.

When I read (from Kevin's post above) that 25 years ago or so I was blown away.

These days (for our files) I print out ONLY page 1 and 2 and full PDF on our server. For corp/P-ship same thing except I print out the depreciation schedule for coming year. That's it. I need this when I am in the field.

Client still gets hard copy, we E mail a protected PDF at that time as well and all is e filed.

We encourage our clients to E mail the PDF to bankers etc... I see the day where NO paper copy will be given to client.

Lmcdon9822 (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2008
Tas46, why not email it to them as a .pdf file with a protected password? Save more money on CDROM costs. What if your CDROM burner goes? I am with Wkstaxprep. I always give them a copy in a tax folder. Something tangable for the client seems better.

Wkstaxprep (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2008
thanks Kevin and Lmc for the feedback.

much appreciated.

Tonymontana (talk|edits) said:

30 December 2008
Imageone and some tax supply companies have cdr's you can order with your company info on them. Check'em out.

Disclosure: I don't work or I get paid by imageone for the endorsement.

RoyDaleOne (talk|edits) said:

31 December 2008
I ask my client what they would like, paper, pdf, or both.

Web Shepherd (talk|edits) said:

31 December 2008
I prefer all electronic. This includes an e-mail summary that the client can print out.

Tas46 (talk|edits) said:

31 December 2008
Thanks for the feedback. It is the clients that receive the hard copy and then call you 3-4 times during the year for another copy. I don't think one bank this year asked me for a hard copy, rather protected .pdf file. I see the industry completely moving away from hard copy. Soon enough you will just upload the file to their Facebook page (LOL).

Happy New Year to all of the TaxAlmanacer's!

Taxea (talk|edits) said:

31 December 2008
It never ceases to amaze me that we all provide the client with a copy, yet, they always call whenever they need another one. They get charged for additional copies.

I only prove copies of the forms that the IRS requires, no worksheets. My clients get exactly what gets filed. I consider the rest work product. Additionally, I do not sign "copies" regardless of what the bank, college or whomever requires. My standard response is...this is a copy of the filed return, therefore a signature will not be provided as this is not an original. The original was signed via the PIN process, not with a physical signature.taxea

Tonymontana (talk|edits) said:

31 December 2008
Clients always seem to remember where their copy is when I tell them I will bill them for a new set.

Hmmm, I am starting to think that they are too lazy to look for it on there own.:=)

Taxea (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2009
Kevin5 even if that is the case, do you really only keep that type of record? What do you do when you have to amend a return or go back to find info on a prior return?

Just curious taxea

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2009
I print a paper copy of the 1040 page 1 & 2 for my paper file, and the first page of the state return. Then I print a pdf file of the entire return, to keep with the scanned documents the client brings in. The paper gives me something to hold & see the big picture. The pdf gives me the detail if I want it.

Taxea (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2009
Okay, I get it. I have gone completely to pdf...don't see any reason to have a hardcopy of I have it on disk.

My clients get a copy of what the IRS gets, not what the program I use considers the "client copy". I just print the "file copy" on efiled returns and that goes to the client. Then on completed returns I pdf the "preparer copy" and transfer it to disk.

As you do, I also scan all documents provided by the client that were actually used to do the return. I give them back their docs.

Sure cuts down on the file space! taxea

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2009
The rule was probably written before xerox machines became widely available, certainly before laser printers.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

13 January 2009
My former employer's father used 5 x 8 cards with relevant data, updated every year, until copiers were affordable! They continued that process until about 1980 even after copiers were used. He began his practice during the war, when Beardsley Rummel 'invented' tax withholding and workers began needing their returns done.

Blrgcpa (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2009
The client MUST be given a copy of the returns.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2009
BlrgCPA, your point, while relevant to the thread, is completely tangental to the question on the table at the present time. The question was about what I kept in my preparer file. If you'd like to answer that question from your perspective that would be very much appropriate.

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