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TAXES!

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Yep I'm already starting.  Ok so I've always used more than one resource to do my taxes.  And like a bijillion different programs.  Everytime I've used Turbo tax it gives me back an amount that freaks me out.  Like just now I was running through all the programs I would normally do and Turbotax gave me back over 8 grand.  WTF?  Last year it gave me back 4.  Is this normal?  I've never used them because it felt a little off. Anyone else use them?

 

Also adding in other deductions it gave me back over 10.  This makes me nervous. 

post #2 of 31

I use turbo tax. Initially (several years ago) I did my taxes in two programs. Both ended up with a similar return. So I just chose the program I was most comfortable with. I THINK there shouldn't be a huge difference in return for you. I wonder whats up with that?

 

In Dec I did a trial run on my taxes as I wanted to compare the results with the government tax calculator. AND there was a HUGE difference there. The gov tax calculator had suggested to me (back in april) to take 22 credits as I would end up with a 6500 tax return. SO I did adjust my credits, but not as generous as the calculator suggested, although it still said I would get approx 6000 grand back. In turbo tax, my return is currently around 250. Sure glad I don't owe.

post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 

It's really odd.  I think this year it might be because DH doesn't have an income and when I put in my approximate income give or take 1000 (due to what is taken out for insurance)  It gave me back a lot!  When I added in what his income would be it didn't give back much.  But we'll see what it's all about when I have exact figures. And yes, atleast I don't owe... so far.

post #4 of 31

We've used turbo tax for years, even during some years when our taxes got pretty hairy. The number does fluctuate pretty dramatically until you are really finished so depending on how complete an estimate you put in, you may end up with a dramatically different number at the end. 

 

We actually got audited this year. Turned out a company should have been sending us forms that needed to be reported for a few years now and we had no idea. We had purchased the audit defense from turbo tax and they were totally awesome. I have only heard nightmares about being audited but it was no big deal for us. We did end up owing about $200 and I think 13$ interest -- nothing major. 

So I guess what I am saying is, get the biggest return possible as long as you have documentation for those deductions, but be sure you have some kind of audit support from whatever resource you choose to go with!

post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I think I"ll get the Audit support.  I once got back 9 grand... I had bought a car and had two kids in daycare.  I was nervous the whole time!

post #6 of 31

Well, honestly it's just a matter of the math: your income, witholdings, deductions, and credits.  I keep a sketch of our taxes in MS Excel, this year we are slated to owe $50 and next year, looks like we'd get back $4k.  

 

It sounds like you're pretty well versed in doing the taxes - why don't you give a try doing them yourself on paper and see if you come up with the same. 

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 


I do them on paper also.  I guess I"m trying to figure out if I'm missing something.  I know one year I missed a deduction for certifications I could have used but I didn't know they applied to me.  I used them the following year though.  I actually called IRS and they were pretty cool at explaining that part to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carson View Post

Well, honestly it's just a matter of the math: your income, witholdings, deductions, and credits.  I keep a sketch of our taxes in MS Excel, this year we are slated to owe $50 and next year, looks like we'd get back $4k.  

 

It sounds like you're pretty well versed in doing the taxes - why don't you give a try doing them yourself on paper and see if you come up with the same. 



 

post #8 of 31

DH will file our taxes as soon as the W2s come in - I'm looking forward to getting the returns back, as the majority of it will be purchasing me a new (to us) car. (Currently in a 2-door... not really carseat friendly! But we're cash-only people when it comes to cars, so it really had to wait until the tax returns.)

 

We got back about $4-5k last year due to my very, very limited income. This year I expect we'll get back even more, as our little man made his debut in the tail end of 2011. Mama's little tax credit! ;)

 

However I do not think next year we will have such a generous return. Mostly because we realized in November that the reason we've had so much money come back is that DH, despite his intention, never actually got around to changing his withholdings - he used to be the secondary income, and my income (the primary) had the deductions, so his was set with 0 deductions. Three years after I got fired, it is still set to 0 deductions. LOL. 

 

I do like having the "forced" savings (yeah yeah, interest free, I don't care it works for me) but that was kinda crazy. We fixed it. =P

 

 

post #9 of 31
I like to figure ours on paper, too. We have 4 kids, but our taxes surely aren't complicated. I file online, though, but usually know even before we get our w-2's what we should be getting back. It's fairly easy to do using paystubs from December.
post #10 of 31

I did an online calculator using Dec pay stubs and some estimating, and if those numbers are right we should be getting almost 7k back, which would be awesome and would really help us fully fund our emergency fund so we can start saving for a car.

 

Last year I made a mistake (that I kind of had a feeling I might have made, after I'd already filed) and it turns out we were supposed to only get 3k back instead of the 4k we got, so now we're paying Uncle Sam back. Thankfully we have it in savings, and honestly we REALLY needed that money last year. So I look at it like an inadvertent low-interest loan from the government. Sigh.

 

Just waiting on w2s and crossing my fingers that the 6k-7k figure is correct.

post #11 of 31
Thread Starter 

I'm already planning on paying off my last big credit card and being debt free.  HOLY CRUDOLA!  I actually felt like crying.  Also we got something in the mail from DFAS (military thing) that said we could use what we paid back last year as a deductible.  Thanks Judas for one more deductible that is sitting in my hands!

post #12 of 31

taxes already done and accepted.  we will be getting $6300 and all of that will be going to pay off the bestbuy card and pay a big chunk of the CC.   I would get more but x wont let me claim DS2 even though he lives with me half time and X did not work all year so he wont be filing taxes anyway. its very annoying

post #13 of 31
How do you guys get $4K, $6K, $8K back?!?! Do you have a lot withheld or something? Just curious if I'm missing something, we've never gotten more than ~$1K back...
post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 

Well the earned income credit cut off is 48 k, two kids and I didn't have much withheld this year.  Most years I end up getting very little back but this year DH didn't have an income at all and my insurance and all the other little things come out before taxes.  I was able to get my "income" with deductions down by almost 20k.  With what I paid in taxes I'm getting a huge chunk back.  Just waiting on one more thing and then I'm putting it in. 

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by xekomaya View Post
 

So I guess what I am saying is, get the biggest return possible as long as you have documentation for those deductions, but be sure you have some kind of audit support from whatever resource you choose to go with!



I think there is merit to that advice, but I also wanted to state the other side of it for the record. Some people feel that giving the government a huge interest-free loan is a bad idea. First, you are losing the interest you could get on that pile of cash. Second, we've had a shaky economy lately and while it may seem impossible, it could happen at some point that the government issues IOUs instead of giving you your return.

 

So, make your choice thoughtfully. I sure do like the idea of "enforced savings" over having people just spend it all, that's for sure! We also do pay more in taxes than we expect to owe, so we always get a return. However, last year when the company I work for made some adjustments that affected my tax withholding, the accountant asked me if I wanted to change it to match what it was before. But I opted to take the extra money that was going into my check and I saved it. Every penny is labelled "taxes" so I haven't lost track of it. As soon as we file our taxes (and I'm sure we'll still get a refund even though I've reduced the withholding) then I will put the money into another savings category. We've been earning top savings account dollar at 1% (that comment was both serious and sarcastic... 1% IS top dollar these days, but jeez...). So the money we made on it was negligible but I do like the security of having that $900 in our hands already.

post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Well the earned income credit cut off is 48 k, two kids and I didn't have much withheld this year.  Most years I end up getting very little back but this year DH didn't have an income at all and my insurance and all the other little things come out before taxes.  I was able to get my "income" with deductions down by almost 20k.  With what I paid in taxes I'm getting a huge chunk back.  Just waiting on one more thing and then I'm putting it in. 

Ah... my DH has been unemployed for a year now so our income was definitely lower but he's getting unemployment which I guess has no taxes withheld... so I'm actually worried we'll OWE money this year...
post #17 of 31
Thread Starter 

Oh I don't like it at all!  I made changes based on my previous income and then got a pay raise of 20k.  I didn't change things as I should of.  I'd rather have that money in my account every month rather than get it back in February. 

post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

How do you guys get $4K, $6K, $8K back?!?! Do you have a lot withheld or something? Just curious if I'm missing something, we've never gotten more than ~$1K back...


usually they dont withhold anything if it's my normal check but if its a really big check they will take some out.  we paid $800 into federal

post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post

I think there is merit to that advice, but I also wanted to state the other side of it for the record. Some people feel that giving the government a huge interest-free loan is a bad idea. First, you are losing the interest you could get on that pile of cash. Second, we've had a shaky economy lately and while it may seem impossible, it could happen at some point that the government issues IOUs instead of giving you your return.

 



Oh no no, I meant this year's return in particular. The OP was mentioning getting different numbers from different calculations of her deductions. The interest free loan bit doesn't work for me at all - in fact we usually end up paying most years because we try to have as little withheld as we can get away with.

post #20 of 31
Thread Starter 

There is an option to have the tax withheld.  The year DH was on unemployment he actually got 20k that year from unemployment.  However he didn't owe anything.  It did bring my return down a bit.  Also I said earlier that I didnt have much withheld.  I actually had a lot withheld, I accounted for 2 rather than the 6 it suggested I did.  So that's why I'm getting so much back this year.  I'm changing that though.  I'd prefer to have the money in my account now.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post


Ah... my DH has been unemployed for a year now so our income was definitely lower but he's getting unemployment which I guess has no taxes withheld... so I'm actually worried we'll OWE money this year...


 

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