Is there any problem in filing my federal tax returns twice?
March 23, 2011 3:50 PM   Subscribe

Is there any problem in filing my federal tax returns twice?

Both the IRS and New York state offer free e-filing of tax returns if you select from a list of FreeFile websites on their sites. I first completed my federal tax return without any problem. The FreeFile website I used offered free e-filing of the federal tax returns but not the state.

I then went to the NY state website and selected a different FreeFile website and completed my tax return. But just as I finished, they gave me the option of sending my federal tax returns and/or state returns. I selected state returns only, but the next page asked for my credit card to pay a $5 fee.

I went back to the previous page and, this time, selected both federal and state, clicked to the next page, and found that both the federal and state returns would be filed for free.

If all the information I entered on my first federal return is identical to the second return, do I even need to worry about sending two copies of my tax returns?
posted by AngryTypingGuy to Work & Money (4 answers total)
Best answer: The second filing will automatically be rejected by the IRS.
posted by babbageboole at 4:40 PM on March 23, 2011

Best answer: There was a dude here (a mefite) who was an IRS employee. He was very helpful (though was getting seriously flamed as a potential scammer, which I thought was shit behaviour) a couple of months ago, in response to a question about IRS cold-calling. Can't remember his name or any other details, but if you find the thread, maybe memail him?
posted by wilful at 6:20 PM on March 23, 2011

Best answer: Hi! I'm the guy wilful is talking about! I think I've got enough of a posting history now that no one thinks I'm a scammer anymore, but what a painful introduction to AskMeFi it was.

To answer your question, babbageboole has it exactly right. Since you already filed a federal return, any subsequent electronic returns will be rejected by the IRS. So file away if it saves you the $5 bucks.
posted by texano at 8:13 PM on March 23, 2011

Best answer: More than once, I think, I've had two "competing" 1040s floating around various IRS offices due to paperwork/bureaucracy issues. Never had that become a problem. Basically, the first one in the system is taken as the official return, and any changes need to be done with a 1040-X. There's certainly no penalty here, and no fraud or attempt to deceive, so you're already way down on the IRS list of concerns.
posted by dhartung at 12:54 PM on March 24, 2011

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