Another year, another set of tax forms.
Getting ready to e-file, and the feds helpfully sent me a set of payment vultures for tax due (none this time) and quarterly estimated taxes.
California doesn't send ready-to-use vouchers (nor vultures). Turbot Ax has some pretty wacky ideas about what the amounts should be, and doesn't believe in printing out the forms with the amounts left blank so I can write in numbers later.
So, I download this year's form 540-ES, and set about filling it in, as usual. Surprise! This year's PDF is apparently in a slightly different format, and Adobe Reader 9 (being the last version available for Linux) announces that it won't be able to save the filled-in document. Which is not so good for records-keeping purposes, besides being inconvenient. Well, I guess Acrobelfry is for bats more than vultures, eh? Though it's been clear for some time that Adobe is for the birds.
Alternative PDF readers for Linux might or might not work - qpdf doesn't want to fill in the form at all - but all the ones I try show any un-filled form fields as solid black. Dunno how those would print. Toner doesn't grow on trees, you know!
Growf. Download the latest Acrobat Reader (they're back to calling it that) from Adobe. It's the new Document Cloud edition! Excuse me, but I'd prefer to have my documents clear, not cloudy.
Well, anyway. I can fill in the form on Windows, and print on Linux (printing from Windows being currently problematic). Seems to get the job done.
Now... am I going to wade through 94 pages of forms before filing?
Update, Tuesday morning: Did the e-file thing. TurbotAx told me I still needed to print and mail some forms... but when I clicked on the applicable button, I got an error box explaining that there was a problem converting my forms to PDF. Eep? A bit of googlement led me to Roundtuit Intuit's web site, where someone had asked about the exact same thing a few days earlier, and been pointed to a FAQ dealing with printing problems, which was notably unhelpful.
Oh, well: guessing that it was a California thing, probably related to the payment voucher for the tax due but possibly something else, I saved the PDF of the file-for-records collection, opened that, looked at the California instructions, and determined that I had to print out two pages to be mailed, apparently, separately: forms 3582 (Californian for 1040-V) and 8453-OL (Online e-file Return Authorization plus a load of malarkey that I guess gets left blank).
Er... wait. Says I need to sign and date form 8453-OL within 1 day. But nothing about an address to which to mail it. Top of the form says "DO NOT MAIL THIS FORM TO THE FTB". So, er. I'm required to sign and date the paper copy, and...? Just stuff it in my files, or what?
Oh, here we go:
- What do I do with my forms FTB 8453, FTB 8453-OL, FTB 8453 (PMT), FTB 8879, FTB 8879 (PMT), FTB 8455, W-2, W-2G, and/or 1099-R?
- Keep these forms with the copy of your tax return for your records.
- Keep these forms for four years from the due date of the return or for four years from the date you filed, whichever is later.
Important! Do not mail these forms to FTB.
All righty, then.