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Do you accept picture of tax statements taken by cell phone?

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    #16
    Lemming-like rush to electronic demise

    Old School from me. We are too far allowing ourselves to be "convenienced" into the wonderful world of electronics. We are losing control of basic functionality and we may live to see the day when all the electronic keys and passwords are controlled by a single source. At that point we will be controlled like pawns on a chessboard.

    I meet with my clients face-to-face every year and insist on source documents. If they tell me "Oh, I've got everything online" then "everything" will have to be printed out. My long-time clients know this, and most of them admire the policy.

    To illustrate, one young client last year, walking around obviously as if she were going to die on the spot if she didn't have her phone, told me she had a 1098-T from college. Other evidence convinced me she was a college student during the year in question. When I asked to see it, she said "Oh, I've got it online, wanna see it?" She then proceeded to scroll through 300 pages of telephone data, then finally gave up.

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      #17
      >> To illustrate, one young client last year, walking around obviously as if she were going to die on the spot if she didn't have her phone,

      Unfortunately many young people use their smart phone for all financial transactions, document archiving etc. I routinely run into this issue and have to ask them to e-mail me the pdf from their phone. Going forward this may be the way people will interact and stop getting paper statements all together.
      Taxes after all are the dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society. - FDR

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        #18
        Originally posted by ATSMAN View Post
        >> To illustrate, one young client last year, walking around obviously as if she were going to die on the spot if she didn't have her phone,

        Unfortunately many young people use their smart phone for all financial transactions, document archiving etc. I routinely run into this issue and have to ask them to e-mail me the pdf from their phone. Going forward this may be the way people will interact and stop getting paper statements all together.
        Many times this works out great. I prefer to prepare simple returns while clients wait. If younger people are missing a doc such as student loan interest, they just look it up on their phone and e-mail it to me while I'm inputting the rest of their info.

        Much better than having to wait for them to get it later and have to make a separate appointment for pick up.

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          #19
          Wow, I'm just the opposite. I do everything possible to keep my clients out of my office so I can get some work done. The second highest priority is to keep them off my phone. Email, text, and even snail mail are far more important to me than looking them in the eye and trying to keep them on task, avoiding talk about everything from their aches & pains to their kids, grandkids, pastor, or politician.
          "The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectful" - John Kenneth Galbraith

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            #20
            Originally posted by JohnH View Post
            Wow, I'm just the opposite. I do everything possible to keep my clients out of my office so I can get some work done. The second highest priority is to keep them off my phone. Email, text, and even snail mail are far more important to me than looking them in the eye and trying to keep them on task, avoiding talk about everything from their aches & pains to their kids, grandkids, pastor, or politician.
            If you can achieve that on a consistent basis, you are lucky. Unfortunately for the rest of us, many of our clients want us to work like the fast food joint!
            Taxes after all are the dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society. - FDR

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              #21
              Originally posted by JohnH View Post
              Wow, I'm just the opposite. I do everything possible to keep my clients out of my office so I can get some work done. The second highest priority is to keep them off my phone. Email, text, and even snail mail are far more important to me than looking them in the eye and trying to keep them on task, avoiding talk about everything from their aches & pains to their kids, grandkids, pastor, or politician.
              I genuinely like the majority of my clients and look forward to seeing them every year. I purposely schedule appointments far enough apart so there is time to chit chat.

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                #22
                Originally posted by AccTaxMan View Post
                Your client used his cell phone to take a picture of his W-2 and then email it to you.

                Are you ok with it? Or do you require a scanned copy?
                Aren't we required to keep two of the original? The one attached to 1040 and one attached to State return had they been mailed rather than efiled? This is what I do.
                Believe nothing you have not personally researched and verified.

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                  #23
                  Retaining originals of W2s and 1099-Rs

                  Originally posted by taxea View Post
                  Aren't we required to keep two of the original? The one attached to 1040 and one attached to State return had they been mailed rather than efiled? This is what I do.
                  Interesting point that had also crossed my mind.
                  I always keep the federal and state copies of the W2s attached to any Form 8879 I have on file.

                  Where are you if the client sends you (only) an image of the "employee copy" ?? Perhaps land of non-compliance?

                  FE

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by FEDUKE404 View Post
                    Interesting point that had also crossed my mind.
                    I always keep the federal and state copies of the W2s attached to any Form 8879 I have on file.

                    Where are you if the client sends you (only) an image of the "employee copy" ??
                    No one cares which copy of the W-2 you have. I believe it's only forms showing federal withholding (most commonly W-2 and 1099-R) that you are supposed to keep a copy of, for efiled returns.

                    Since I have signed 8879 forms that have never existed in paper form, I am also fine with attaching to them a W-2 that I have also never had in paper form.

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                      #25
                      I agree

                      Originally posted by Rapid Robert View Post
                      No one cares which copy of the W-2 you have. I believe it's only forms showing federal withholding (most commonly W-2 and 1099-R) that you are supposed to keep a copy of, for efiled returns.

                      Since I have signed 8879 forms that have never existed in paper form, I am also fine with attaching to them a W-2 that I have also never had in paper form.
                      We are required to retain a copy of any form that has income tax withholding (W-2, F 1099-R, sometimes F 1099-B). A copy, not necessarily one of the originals - so an emailed/scanned etc version is acceptable. I prefer to see the original, and I generally attach the Federal copy to the client copy of the return (for paper copies), keep one of the state copies in my files, and return the other W-2 copies to the client with their original source docs. IF for some reason, it's one of those lovely W-2's with numerous *state if different allocations* I make sure I have a copy of allllllll the allocations.

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                        #26
                        Keeping copies of tax documents

                        Originally posted by Rapid Robert View Post
                        No one cares which copy of the W-2 you have. I believe it's only forms showing federal withholding (most commonly W-2 and 1099-R) that you are supposed to keep a copy of, for efiled returns.

                        Since I have signed 8879 forms that have never existed in paper form, I am also fine with attaching to them a W-2 that I have also never had in paper form.
                        Well, good for you!
                        BREAKING NEWS: Not everyone operates the same way as Rapid Robert.
                        I'm quite content returning the "employee" copies to the client and retaining the federal and state copies of W2s and 1099-Rs. Rightly or wrongly I lean toward the general concept that I am, by efiling, transmitting an accurate electronic substitute of the actual tax document.
                        Heck, I even retype the mailing address on the W2/1099-R if it differs (auto-fill?) from the mailing address used on the tax return itself. (See my last sentence above.) It should be noted that when I (in the past, thankfully) worked for a store-front firm we had that discussion frequently. . .but at some point the company policy firmly reiterated that, even if it meant some extra time/typing, the address entered on the W2/1099-R must match the tax document. Or maybe I just imagined all of that??
                        But, as I've stated here before, what the heck do I know? ? ?

                        FE

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                          #27
                          Originally posted by FEDUKE404 View Post
                          Well, good for you!
                          BREAKING NEWS: Not everyone operates the same way as Rapid Robert.[...]
                          Heck, I even retype the mailing address on the W2/1099-R if it differs (auto-fill?) from the mailing address used on the tax return itself.
                          I was simply responding to your previous comment "Where are you if the client sends you (only) an image of the "employee copy" ?? Perhaps land of non-compliance? " I was disagreeing that keeping only a digital copy was somehow non compliant. I haven't yet seen any cites to back up your contention that it might be non-compliant.

                          I too make sure the address on the W-2/1099 efile record matches the actual form even if different from the return address, doesn't everyone?

                          I don't understand what your "BREAKING NEWS" and "good for you" comments were intended to convey. It sounds like my operating methods are similar to many others, I wasn't boasting about anything.

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