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Old 05-28-2020, 09:22 AM
 
1,985 posts, read 503,478 times
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There's a very quick check on the logic here.

Look at line 16. Did your "total tax due" change? If not, it's all about the withholding.

 
Old 05-28-2020, 10:00 AM
 
27 posts, read 3,848 times
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I have always done our own taxes. We never have enough to justify itemizing so they're fairly simple. Since we both work, we both always have taxes withheld at a higher single rate, and $25 a paycheck extra on top of that. The only two times we ended up having to pay was when our oldest turned 17 and I had forgotten to adjust for not being able to claim him as a dependent any longer, and when I got taxed on income I earned in Florida by California, because my husband had moved to California for a job and they counted my Florida income even though I never set foot in the state during that whole working year, simply because we were married.
 
Old 05-28-2020, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
13,466 posts, read 8,296,075 times
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And for a lot of people "money in the bank" (or any form of equity, with the likely exception of home ownership), "burns a hole", Some people try to discipline themselves via the roundabout route of withholding extra; thus, they can anticipate a good-sized refund in the spring -- when it's likely to come in handy. Not a bad idea, but it says something unflattering about our willingness and ability to control our impulses.
 
Old 05-28-2020, 10:25 AM
 
7,648 posts, read 3,605,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
And for a lot of people "money in the bank" (or any form of equity, with the likely exception of home ownership), "burns a hole", Some people try to discipline themselves via the roundabout route of withholding extra; thus, they can anticipate a good-sized refund in the spring -- when it's likely to come in handy. Not a bad idea, but it says something unflattering about our willingness and ability to control our impulses.
No, even home equity burns holes in these people's pockets - why do you think home equity loans and lines of credit are so popular? Yep, put a lien on your house to pay for your vacation. Splendid idea!
 
Old 05-28-2020, 10:49 AM
 
1,985 posts, read 503,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
No, even home equity burns holes in these people's pockets - why do you think home equity loans and lines of credit are so popular? Yep, put a lien on your house to pay for your vacation. Splendid idea!
I think that's shrunken way back from the "house as ATM" days of the Oughts. Yes, some people still do it, or do it for valid reasons such as college tuition, but I'd like to think most homeowners use equity the way it's supposed to be used: for upgrade and repair of the house itself.
 
Old 05-28-2020, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
6,285 posts, read 2,794,889 times
Reputation: 4636
Nope; Went from needing to pay additional ~$3500 (on top of estimated tax + IRA with-holdings) to refund of ~$1300. Tax accountant didn't catch the rental property adjustment, but I did .
 
Old 05-28-2020, 01:16 PM
 
14,632 posts, read 14,538,158 times
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i always get a refund, because i always have extra withheld.
i like receiving an extra $1000 every year.

once and only once i got hit with a horrible tax bill of several thousand dollars and it was so demoralizing and i said never again and that was about 30 years ago, and ever since then i have arranged to receive a refund. it is lovely.
 
Old 05-28-2020, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,993 posts, read 7,197,666 times
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Quote:
Even people who do taxes for a living can't answer me.
Then, apparently, you don't know any competent tax preparers.


My wife is an accountant, and an IRS 'registered' tax preparer. She explained it to me, and it wasn't hard to understand even if I *do* suck at math. There were changes in the tax codes/laws that resulted in differences in the withholding tables used by companies doing payroll deductions, and changes in the W-4 form.


These changes, and some companies' methods of implementing them resulted in some people being significantly under-withheld.


There may actually be little difference in the total amounts you have paid from year to year, it's just that *this* time you had the money in your pocket instead of letting uncle Sam use it for free, now you have to give him his share. You didn't notice that your net on your check increased? You didn't wonder why? It didn't occur to you to wonder about the tax implications of this?


ETA:


If you aren't capable of figuring this stuff out yourself, then hire a *competent* tax professional to examine your returns and advise you on how to change your withholding so that you can let Uncle use more of your money at zero interest...or just bank enough of your income that it isn't a problem to write ole Sam a check at the end of the year. Or are you one of those people who spends everything in the last check, before the next is deposited?
 
Old 05-28-2020, 01:53 PM
 
7,648 posts, read 3,605,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
i always get a refund, because i always have extra withheld.
i like receiving an extra $1000 every year.

once and only once i got hit with a horrible tax bill of several thousand dollars and it was so demoralizing and i said never again and that was about 30 years ago, and ever since then i have arranged to receive a refund. it is lovely.
Well, your thinking is exactly backwards. That "lovely refund"? That's YOUR MONEY that the government has had a zero-interest loan of, for a year. Why do you think there are penalties for being under-withheld, but not for being over-withheld? Because Uncle Sam wants that zero-interest loan.


Your objective should be to write a check for the maximum amount that doesn't trigger penalties for under-withholding.
 
Old 05-28-2020, 01:57 PM
 
7,648 posts, read 3,605,936 times
Reputation: 21795
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
Then, apparently, you don't know any competent tax preparers.

See my hypothesis above on how "gee, I can't answer that question unless I can see your tax returns and explain to you what changed" probably turned into "even people who do taxes for a living can't answer me". Of COURSE they can't answer the OP, without sufficient information!


I guarantee that I, or you Zymer, or probably any reasonably attentive eighth grader with adequate arithmetic skills, could sit down with OP's 2019 and 2018 returns and explain why they went from refund to needing to pay more. Whether I could get them to understand that refunds are not some magical manna from heaven, I am less certain.
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