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CA preparers - how to prove a return was received

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Posting this for a friend. Taxpayer mailed their Fed and Cal returns by certified mail. Tracking by USPS website yielded no results so she called the post office 800 number for more info. The fed return to IRS Fresno was received there on 4/10.

The issue now is the CA return. Post office's last record shows the return at Sacramento P.O. also on 4/10. No other information is available. She is not sure whether Franchise Tax Board ever received the state return.

I'm not sure if she is getting a refund. From the ftb website, it looks like she could use that to see if the return is in processing. Is that right? Now if she had a balance due on this return, would that show up using the "MyFTB Account" function?

I haven't done a CA return in years, so any guidance would be appreciated.

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If her check to the FTB is cashed, that would indicate they received her return.

I used certified mail/return receipt requested sending an IRA contribution for my daughter in law. The PO tracking never showed anything beyond it being received at my local PO. The two receipt confirmations I sent the same day tracked in minute detail to their recipients. Even the supervising post master could not track my certified envelope. Ultimately, the check cleared, but the PO tracking still shows it sitting here in town! Think I'll use FedEx or UPS next time.

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Edited: Just found out she had an overpayment and requested that it be applied to next year.

So in that case, I don't think the refund status page will help her, and no check went with the return to check for its cancellation. Is there any other way to verify this return was received? Calling the CA FTB would be to be a joke at this point.

I once had an IRS auditor tell me that certified or return receipt mailing only proves that an envelope was mailed to IRS, not what was inside it. He was such a smart@ss about everything that I wanted to reach across the table and smack him across the face.

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If her 2009 O/P was fully applied to the 1st estimate due for 2010, would the "MyFTB Account" at ftb.ca.gov show this information?

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If her 2009 O/P was fully applied to the 1st estimate due for 2010, would the "MyFTB Account" at ftb.ca.gov show this information?

It will, however I wouldn't expect to see anything for at least a couple of weeks or more. California is slow in processing paper returns, especialy at their peek!

Don't be afraid to call FTB. I find them very helpful. They will usually give me info that IRS would not.

Deb!

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I have always had good luck with the FTB. They actually act like humans and normally are very friendly and efficient.

"I wouldn't expect to see anything for at least a couple of weeks or more." Totally agree, especially with budget cuts. The newest thing is a bill before the legislature to combine the FTB and the Board of Equalization. THEN, we will have problems. BOE is a totally different culture.

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I also had the IRS (taxpayer advocate) tell me that sending via U.S. Mail certified means nothing except that it will prove that IRS received an envelope from you....no proof of what (if anything) was actually in the envelope).

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Thank you all for the replies.

Yes, e-filing would have avoided this problem, however her return had sec 179 from a partnership, so e-filing wasn't possible.

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Thank you all for the replies.

Yes, e-filing would have avoided this problem, however her return had sec 179 from a partnership, so e-filing wasn't possible.

You can't efile a return with 179 from a partnership? I didn't know that. I have one on extension guess I have to paper file it.

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Update on the friend's CA return. Friend's returns was one of 300 delivered to CA FTB that were sent by certified mail. Only the 1st return of that batch was acknowledged back to the post office as being received. The other 299 returns sent by certified mail weren't. The post office is saying a clerk at FTB is to blame for only scanning in the first one.

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I fronted a check to daughter-in-law's 2009 IRA until she received her refund in April and sent it certified/return receipt since it was so last minute. Never received receipt; postmaster couldn't trace it; no record of it ever leaving my local PO; on line tracking showed it at my PO only. However, check was cashed by the Fund, so we know that it WAS received and the date! PO blames the recipient, but it was not scanned at ANY step along the way. Next time, I use UPS or FedEx and not PO. (On that same day, I mailed two tax return copies with $0.70 confirmations of receipt. Those tracked on line from local PO to every stop along the way and delivery destination with frequent updates, such as sorting now in Philly.)

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