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E-file a zero AGI IRS return

E-file a zero AGI IRS return

Old Apr 10th 2022, 6:20 pm
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Default E-file a zero AGI IRS return

I helped my son do his tax return today. We used TurboTax which worked fine, took him through the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion form but since he had no other income at all his AGI was zero and TT said the IRS won’t accept an e-file with zero AGI. Rather than go through the whole print out and pay to send the return as tracked delivery I suggested he invent some interest from savings. He then reported $5 interest from his UK bank and that did the trick. Zero tax owed on an AGI of $5 but he was able to e-file.
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Old Apr 11th 2022, 5:03 am
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Default Re: E-file a zero AGI IRS return

On a related subject, I filed my UK online tax return last week. Because I live abroad, I can't do it direct on the HMRC site and have to use commercial software. I use 1, 2, 3 efiling which has proved fine in the past.
This time however I got right to the end of the process and found myself unable to submit the return. I kept getting an Authentication Failure message. After a long exchange with the Chat support staff and trying everything - including double checking my Gateway ID, password and UTR number and checking with HMRC that online self-assessment was among the services I could use - it was suggested that I go into the HMRC site and change my Gateway password to remove any special characters (which seemed a bit weird given that when you're creating your password, HMRC encourages you to include symbols).
Anyway. It worked.

I do prefer to file online because that way you get instant confirmation HMRC has received it. And a copy of all the completed sections. A colleague submitted hers by post last year and when told months later by HMRC that she had failed to file a particular section - and fined - she had no way of proving otherwise.
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Old Apr 11th 2022, 10:27 am
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Default Re: E-file a zero AGI IRS return

Wow Helen, that was certainly weird with having to change the password. Amazing really, does the tax software access your HMRC account when filing by chance? It may be that the special characters got in the way of doing that.

I agree with e-filing whenever possible, HMRC or IRS, which is why I found it very strange they wouldn't allow an e-file of my son's return yesterday because the AGI is zero. He has to file since he has foreign earned income which is zero'ed out, it's not that he is filing a blank return so it would have cost him and the IRS to process the return if we hadn't come up with the little ruse to trick the software.
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Old Apr 11th 2022, 5:15 pm
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Default Re: E-file a zero AGI IRS return

Not sure how it works to be honest. I submit the return via the tax software and a few minutes later I get confirmation from HMRC that they’ve received it.

For someone who’s a complete techno nincompoop I’m becoming a dab hand at digital workarounds.
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