A couple of weeks ago (actually, New Year's Day, I think) I went through and entered all the information needed for my tax returns into a (usually) very reliable program. My taxes are fairly simple, and it's easy enough for me to figure out what my W-2 will look like, based on my final remittance advice (our 12/31 pay was issued 12/23 because the university is closed that following week - it makes for a very, very long run until the 1/31 pay date).
Everything else was easy enough to get from my records. As soon as the official W-2 was released, I could check everything and hit "submit". That happened last Saturday.
The program sent the federal, all right, but refused to send the state return, making some claim about a schedule not being available until Monday, 1/26. It made no sense - the schedule was completed and included in the file of the returns I saved to my computer before I sent the federal.
Still, I waited until Monday.
On Monday, the same message appeared, with a new, updated date - the schedule was now supposed to be available on Thursday, 1/29.
Checked the State of Wisconsin website. You can download a paper copy of the form. The state's own e-file system is open, as is their capacity to accept returns through other packages.
Called the software company. Two calls and over an hour and a half later, the message I got was that they would not have the form available until Thursday, but if I really, really want, they would refund the fee I paid to file through them and I could file on paper (or redo the taxes on the State's own e-file site).
I said I'd wait, but let them know I was NOT happy.
This morning, I logged in. The first thing the software said on the state return was that I could not request a direct deposit if I filed the forms on paper, and I should uncheck the box...
I ignored it. At this point, nothing would be lost by trying to get through. In fact, once I clicked through to the next page, it asked how I would like my refund, and let me chose direct deposit. Everything else went as expected, and the return has been filed and accepted by the State.
Jeez, people. If your IT group hasn't yet configured and uploaded necessary forms (this one was Schedule I - the form that converts deductions available on the fed to those available on the state - a pretty standard, necessary and basic form), please put a notice to that effect at the start of the input process, in big, bold letters.
The IRS is done with me, and says they will deposit that refund on February 2nd. Nine days - not bad. The State of Wisconsin is generally quicker; I bet that shows up the same day. Neither is big, by most people's standards, as I hate to give the government more than I have to give them, but I do have plans for the cash.
Technology is great - when it works.