No staples or tape?! The IRS "attachment rule"

I hadn't filed a paper return in years and years, but I had to this year - ack! The instructions on how attach the W2s, etc., were printed on the back of the "big" W2: there was a
tiny line drawing of a large rectangle (the return), then there a couple of smaller rectangles, which were laid horizontally. Okay, I can figure that out, but HOW do you attach them? In the very fine print, under the cute little drawings, it said, "Do not staple or tape the forms... attach them the agency's way." I looked all over the web, and read, online, everything that MIGHT tell me how to attach these little rectanges, "the agencies way." I'm going to sleep, and call my friends at the IRS later this morning. Oh, and will definitely check on the forbidden "staples and tape." I know that everyone will be SOOOO happy to find out this wonderful info! How I adore tax time! Yeah, right. Patty
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"My way" used to be a paperclip.
-- Best regards Han email address is invalid
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Staple the W-2's and 1099's to your return and get it mailed in. Some states require that you paper clip the return together, but what's the worst case scenario, they send you a notice that you're a baaaaad person for doing so. "Psssst. Hey bud, whatcha in for?" "I'm doing 3 to 5 for stapling my return together." None of the cons will mess with you after they hear that. FYI: The cutsy pictures of how to fasten the documents to the return has their W-2 on top, doesn't it. Sounds like marketing instead of law. You actually don't have to place their W-2 on top of all the other W-2's. -- Paul A. Thomas, CPA Athens, Georgia
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Something somewhere actually says that? I've been stapling W2 forms to tax returns (when necessary this day and age of efiling) for years and years, and never had one rejected for something so trivial. Not to worry; they'll process the return without calling you a "bad girl". ChEAr$, Harlan Lunsford, EA n LA
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Paper clips? The instructions for Form 1040 only use the word "attach". What instructions are you referring to? -Mark Bole
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I file a paper return every year (I'll start efiling when the dollar cost to me is zero) so, believing I know it all, I don't read the instructions detailing how to attach, or not attach, W-2s. Therefore, I staple the W-2s to the Form 1040. As for the check, I just put it in the envelope loose. As for the payment voucher, they've always managed to cash my check without one. We will see how the IRS reacts to my cavalier attitude towards staples in a year (this one) that I'm due a refund. Regards, the first Bill
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I'm almost positive it says right on the 1040 to staple W-2s to the form. << ======================================================= >> << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >> << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >> << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >> << >> << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >> << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >> << are at www.asktax.org. >> << Copyright (2006) - All rights reserved. >> << ======================================================= >>
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You do not need to be almost positive. You can look and read your return now and kmow for a certainty. << ------------------------------------------------------- >> << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >> << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >> << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >> << >> << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >> << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >> << are at www.asktax.org. >> << Copyright (2006) - All rights reserved. >> << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
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You do not need to be almost positive. You can look and read your return now and kmow for a certainty. << ------------------------------------------------------- >> << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >> << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >> << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >> << >> << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >> << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >> << are at www.asktax.org. >> << Copyright (2006) - All rights reserved. >> << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
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We in California are very familiar with what taxing agencies (the one in Sacramento) do with paper clipped forms. I remember the many clients who got bills for additional taxes owed in the exact amount of their withholding from one of their W-2s. This is because the only way FTB knows how much withholding an employee has is from the copy of the W-2 attached to his/her tax return. The guys who collect the tax, EDD, don't tell FTB whose money it is until several years later. IRS doesn't even get the state withholding. A few years ago FTB got the brilliant idea to have us clip the W-2s to the return since staples would foul up their scanner readable format on the front page. All the tax pros were livid and the new method only lasted 2 years. Without staples FTB was losing not just the W-2s but the balance due checks as well. FTB soon redesigned their front page to allow for staples and we all went back to stapling. FTB went back to losing W-2s just like they always did. Now we enter the data on a special form with Federal and state employer IDs and withholding, and don't attach any W-2s. We still have to attach 1099s that have withholding though. Maybe they will come up with another special form for those. Meanwhile, I staple all the W-2s and 1099s with withholding together and then staple them with at least 2 staples to the front page of the 1040. IRS loss rate has been virtual nil. Linda Dorfmont E.A., CFP, CSA
<< ------------------------------------------------------- >> << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >> << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >> << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >> << >> << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >> << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >> << are at www.asktax.org. >> << Copyright (2006) - All rights reserved. >> << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
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Some states don't want staples. But people use them anyway.
<< ------------------------------------------------------- >> << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >> << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >> << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >> << >> << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >> << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >> << are at www.asktax.org. >> << Copyright (2006) - All rights reserved. >> << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
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Some states don't want staples. But people use them anyway.
<< ------------------------------------------------------- >> << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >> << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >> << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >> << >> << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >> << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >> << are at www.asktax.org. >> << Copyright (2006) - All rights reserved. >> << ------------------------------------------------------- >>
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Gee, sorry, I didn't have a return handy to look at. But now I see it says "attach." There is nothing on the form or in the instructions prohibiting one from stapling the W-2 to the 1040. If there is a payment it explicitly says not to attach it. << ======================================================= >> << The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >> << nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >> << that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >> << >> << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >> << to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >> << are at www.asktax.org. >> << Copyright (2006) - All rights reserved. >> << ======================================================= >>
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