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Tax software and form 8621 PFIC

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:44 pm
by dragoncar
I've used TaxAct in the past to file this form for GTU/PHYS, around $15. Now they've upped the price and I'm wondering what other options are out there. What does everyone use?

I think worst case I can use the free version TaxAct and then fill out 8621 myself and paper file.

Re: Tax software and form 8621 PFIC

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:52 pm
by pugchief
What I have been doing for the last several years, with no complaints form the IRS, is e-filing my return [I like H&R Block, but it doesn't matter] without form 8621, and then in May I file a paper 1040X with form 8621 attached. Since the amount of tax is unaffected, it is a formality. In the box asking the reason for filing the corrected return, I type something to the effect of "To include form 8621, which could not be filed electronically".

Re: Tax software and form 8621 PFIC

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:15 pm
by dragoncar
Good idea, although that's probably more work than just paper filing to begin with. I assume you are preferring to e-file for speed/convenience?

Anyone have a reason NOT to just paper file? I guess you'll delay your refund if that's an issue? I've read it may decrease the risk of audit to paper file. I've also read that it may decrease your risk of getting your info hacked. Both are debatable in my mind.

Re: Tax software and form 8621 PFIC

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:42 pm
by Desert
I don't see any reason NOT to paper file. It has the benefit of forcing one to look at each line of the tax forms, which can sometimes spark some tax planning ideas for the following year.

Re: Tax software and form 8621 PFIC

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:37 pm
by Xan
For the past several years I've used "Free File Fillable Forms": https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/

It's the official option for free e-filing that has no income restrictions. I think it's fantastic: it's the advantages of computerized taxes: it does the math for you, no printing and mailing (although you can if you like), etc. Other than that it stays out of your way: no wizards, no hiding anything behind the scenes. It's the electronic version of you picking up a tax form and filling it out.

This recommendation is slightly off-topic in this thread because, for whatever reason, it also doesn't have Form 8621.

Re: Tax software and form 8621 PFIC

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:12 am
by technovelist
I use H&R Block At Home, which doesn't cover that form. I fill it out myself and file on paper.

Which reminds me, this year the IRS interactive tax assistant says I don't have to file at all. Do I still need to file the whole return just for the 8621? (I believe the FBAR still has to be filed regardless).

Re: Tax software and form 8621 PFIC

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:24 am
by bedraggled
Tech,

Do you need to file the FBAR due to your Swiss annuities?

Thanks.

Re: Tax software and form 8621 PFIC

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:12 am
by technovelist
bedraggled wrote:Tech,

Do you need to file the FBAR due to your Swiss annuities?

Thanks.
Yes, as well as my Global Gold holding. I know they say they aren't a financial institution, but who knows what the IRS thinks? No one, apparently.