I would like to e-file my Federal return now, because I'm assuming my original paper return was misplaced be either the Post Office or the IRS.
How can I e-file my TurboTax return without having it e-file a duplicate State return, which I definitely want to avoid, since the State return was received, processed, and refund paid in late March?
The IRS has just started to work through millions of mailed returns that have been piling up in trailers during the pandemic. All you can do is watch the IRS refund site to see when your return makes it to the surface and goes into processing. Sorry.
Per the IRS website IRS Operations During COVID-19: Mission-critical functions continue:
IRS operational status and alternatives
Processing Delays for Paper Tax Returns: Taxpayers should file electronically through their tax preparer, tax software provider, or IRS Free File.
We’re experiencing delays in processing paper tax returns due to limited staffing. If you already filed a paper return, we will process it in the order we received it.
Do not file a second tax return or contact the IRS about the status of your return.
If you mail a tax return (or a payment) to the IRS, it is a good idea to use a mailing service that will track it like UPS or certified mail so you will know it was received.
When you mail a tax return, you need to attach any documents showing tax withheld, such as your W-2’s or any 1099’s.
TurboTax will not know anything about your mailed return, and will continue to show “Ready to Mail” on your account. TurboTax will not know that you put your tax return in an envelope and took it to a mailbox. TurboTax does not get updates on mailed (or e-filed) returns.
When the IRS finally opens its mail and begins to process mailed returns you can check the status on the IRS site. https://www.irs.gov/refunds
State returns have to be mailed to the state.
Thank you for your response. I understand that is the advice the IRS provides on this matter and it is why I have waited over six months to pursue this.
When I mailed my return we had both a functioning Postal Service and a functioning Internal Revenue Service in this country. We have neither of those things now and I can't foresee when we will again.
Between my refund and stimulus payments this is a five-figure amount that isn't inconsequential to our current financial situation. I'm at a point where if/when an IRS agent finally opens my paper return and checks their computer to see that I've already e-filed in the meantime and has to take the 45 seconds it will take to shred my paper return, I'm okay with that. If I had some indication that they had received my return I would be inclined to continue to wait for them to process it. Absent that I'm afraid that my return has been lost in transit and if/when they get caught up on the backlog of returns I won't have any way to realize that mine was missing and will end up having to file again anyhow.
So when that day arrives, if anyone can kindly explain how I can e-file my Federal return without electronically filing a duplicate State return (which was already mailed in), I would greatly appreciate it.
If you want to take the chance that the IRS will end up confused by having a mailed return from you and an e-filed return--that is up to you. You are taking the chance that you will confuse the IRS and delay your refund even more by e-filing.
To change to e-filing:
You can tell the software that you will mail your state return--and of course--do not mail it--since you already did that.