Filing Time

I have completed my taxes. As it turns out it was not Cable Onda that was preventing me from accessing the TaxAct website. It was TaxAct.

I went to Cable Onda and they were kind enough to test and said they could not access it in Panama City. Since I could not access it from Claro, I felt it was a more universal problem.

I finally received the following response from TaxAct.

Dear TaxAct® Customer,
TaxAct takes the security of our customers and their information very seriously. We have industry-standard security protocols in place and are taking additional measures this tax season to further protect our customers.
Accepting returns originating from US-based computers is one example of the extra steps we are taking to protect the security and data integrity of our customers. We are truly sorry that this has impacted you.

START SIGNATURE

Thank you for allowing me to help you today.  Please reply back if I can assist further or if you have any additional questions.
You’ll receive a brief email survey for you to provide your feedback of today’s communications.  We appreciate you completing the short questionnaire to help us ensure the best service to our customers.

Steve M.
TaxAct® Support
TS-531

I had to use a VPN to complete my taxes and consider TaxAct’s response a little foolish. However in checking, they were not the only tax software not allowing filing from Panama.

Using VPN software I was able to file my Federal return and will mail my state return today.

Living in Panama always keeps you on your toes, if not from challenges from the Panama government, then from the U.S. Government. If you have tried to open a Panama Banking account you probably know what I mean.

16 thoughts on “Filing Time

  1. I use AVAST antivirus software and it now has a VPN capability. It also provided a 7 day trial which I used to get my taxes completed. I didn’t sign up. I will wait until I have another need and then will investigate which to use. I would probably use WiTopia. I always liked it.

    I still use UNLOCATOR for my streaming needs.

  2. VPN——“Hola Better Internet” by Google is free. I use it all of the time., Never a problem with this google extension. You store it in extensions and turn on and off on the screen when you want to. I access my sister’s Direct TV in her living room in florida with it. Of course you need account numbers to do this. Never have paid for a VPN in Panama for two years.

  3. Stay away from Hola, or Hola Better Internet.
    Hola, or Hola Better Internet, is not by Google, and may be a dangerous VPN for users, something which various tech sources have warned about.
    It is just an extension for either the Google browser (Chrome) or Firefox.
    It routs your connection through users in other countries; in return users in other countries may be routed through your (Panama) connection.
    You cannot turn off this option.
    Critics warn that in this way it is stealing your broadband, and may be setting you up to be linked to questionable activity, as your computer is being used by other people to connect just as you are using other people’s to connect.
    Check the story about this company in Forbes magazine here:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ianmorris/2015/05/29/hola-vpn-selling-users-broadband/#5ccb177f4e0a
    or on lifehacker.com here:
    http://lifehacker.com/hola-better-internet-sells-your-bandwidth-turning-its-1707496872
    And remember what every internet user should know: If you’re not paying for the product, then you are the product.

  4. Sorry to hear about the trouble with tax act. Have used that site for the past 12yrs
    to include filing this year 2016 for tax year 2015. Have had no problems, Only thing
    I noticed was when I signed in I had to go to my email as they sent an access code
    then after having received the code entered on the tax act website and bam, was able
    to sign into my account.

  5. I do a lot of internet business for my US company while in Panama and have noticed a few major internet sites that will not accept orders if they detect you are outside the US. As a long time Mac user I utilize Netshade which works well for me. I turn it on and off as needed. I use Unlocator for streaming.

  6. I’m curious why you don’t use TurboTax. I have never had a problem with it, and it includes the form for reporting foreign income. You don’t need to use it through a VPN. They don’t care where you live.

  7. Hi Don: What a pain in the A$$ Tax Act was this year. First, I was able to log on to their site and download the free version. Somehow or other, I got the Plus Edition and was billed $29.99 (I don’t know how this happened!). Anyway I was able to load in the data from last years Tax Act so that saved me some time. I entered all my info and ran the Alert Scan and something from my local banks interest input kept getting flagged. This drove me crazy until I finally deleted the category that was imported from last years return and after inputting the exact same info it passed the Alert Scan. OK all ready to submit. Could not submit because of not in U.S. problem. OK, tried to use the VPN service provided by Unlocator, that didn’t work even though I had selected the U.S. DNS region. Looked around for the Avast VPN extension on Chrome, not to be found. Added the Zenmate VPN Chrome extension, selected U.S. and tried to submit the e-file again. Again No Luck. After repeated tries could not connect. Clicked No to retry and got an alternate suggestion to e-file by selecting a specific file to upload. Erikea, it uploaded, got a message the upload was good and got another message saying the Feds had accepted my e-file. TaxACT has really gone down hill, will look for an alternative next year.

  8. Just to be clear, UNLOCATOR, is not a VPN. It uses a different technique and to file with TaxAct required a real VPN. I got done during my AVAST VPN trial.

  9. AVAST is a typical VPN. If I were going to use a VPN again, I would probably go back to WiTopia. However, with my current KODI usage, I rarely need a VPN.

  10. I am 74 yrs old and not computer literate, but having problems having my husband’s medicare paid for medical and surgical at the hospital. Every time I try to send an e mail into process in Panama, it is out. The Yahoo does not have he recipient (unless when it goes through) and all I am spending all time on the computer (not going through) and sending FAX that was OK, but they did not respond from US. . This is a nightmare Had a conference call with John’s insurance and they said OK with Panama and US of A. — we will take care of. DUH. He is a retired State Cop in US and has benefits, but ????? I am thrown from all and back and forth. PS 100% of the things you say on the net for all the assistance for all is not in my brain. Charlotte

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