Hurray! Getting money back at taxtime for once!

Not a lot of money, well under a grand. That’s close enough to breaking even for us. I’m not someone who wants big bucks back at taxtime; that would just mean I’ve let the gummint hang onto my money for me.

But after multiple years of having to write big checks to Uncle Sugar, this does feel nice.


We lost our daughter as a dependent this year, but the net effect was about $400 out of pocket. We got back some from the state, but not enough to cover the federal. So I’m going to increase my withholding and we should get closer to the zero point next year. My goal is to be within $100. One of these days I’ll achieve that.

How nice for you QtM!

Not so lucky, here. I’m paying in about $3k to Uncle Sam and a little under $1k to the Great State of Mississippi.

We were similar, no capital gains and took my $3k in capital losses - so for the first time in a decade, we got money back.

Yay, I finally got money back too! About $400, though only about $300 if you deduct my H&R fees. Pretty sweet, though I only got it back because I lost 2k in investments earlier this year :frowning:

But still, $400! YAY!

Out of curiosity, do most folks get money back or end up paying in? We traditionally end up paying several hundred dollars in; this year, thanks to our daughter’s birth on 12/31, we’re getting just under a thousand back.

Due to medical leave and being laid off, I paid in way too much last year and got back more than I would have wished.

But that is better than owing.

First-time homebuyer this year.

I filed my taxes and the government cut me a check for $8k. Which incidentally was half my down-payment.


<sigh> being self-employed and having a good CPA takes all the fun out of tax time. All the money goes right too the government, it never comes back.

I got $250 back, which is quite a bit, given that I only had 6 months of part-time job. It seems to work better if I don’t look at it as a free loan to uncle Sam so much as a free gift from uncle Sam.

The tax places around here often have signs up claiming that 3 out of 4 returns get a refund. The withholding worksheet seems to slightly overwithhold for small incomes (until you hit zero deductions), so I suspect that’s true.

If people are more likely to get refunds than owe, they are more likely to file their taxes.

(The government also gets to hold your money for a little longer, but I think the real driver for setting up the tables so most people get a refund is to get people to file and get their refund check).

By comparison, with dual-income families, the withholding calculators (including the ones at the IRS site) all lead to underwithholding. We’re still trying to figure out what withholding allowances to claim to get our taxes closer to parity - in the past we either massively overwithheld (to cover an unusual tax situation) and got a huge refund… or tried to correct things to get rid of that refund, and swung to owing 4K. That was painful.

All the calculators tell us we should be filing Married / 6 deductions or something like that… but the tax planner in Quicken (plus looking at our tax bill from last year) all suggest if we go with Married/zero deductions we’ll only owe a grand or so.

I’d give my left kidney for a withholding-estimator tool that actually WORKS, dammit. :mad:

I’m not getting a refund, but when I estimated my taxes back in February after getting my W-2, I found that I owed $700 or so. I could afford it, but I decided to sit on it and wait to see if I could scare up any windfalls. No such luck, so last night I sat down to properly work through the 1040…and found I’d made an error in how much to deduct. I wound up owing only about $140. That is an unquestionable amount of relief, as that $700 was going to cripple me this year. I just wish I’d actually worked through the taxes more carefully earlier on so I didn’t have to spend three months stressing out.

I also changed my withholdings; I realize getting a refund at the end of the year means the government had a portion of my money interest-free, but I deal much better with a restricted but consistent paycheck as opposed to having to come up with a wad of cash once a year.

I’ve gotten nice returns for the past few years, but due to several changes in what I was filing, I was gearing up this year for having to cut a sizeable check to the government.

I’m not sure what voodoo magic my accountant played upon the numbers but the government owes me about $1,200. I believe I will accept this graciously.

How did you do that? Did you have big changes this year compared to in the past?

I’ve not only not received a refund in forever but was really getting sick of having to write a big check every April. Tax time was one of dread. We’ve already been maxing all contributions. This year we’ve reduced our dependants declared so hopefully taking out more during the year will even up what we owe with what’s already been withheld. Writing Sammy a painful check ain’t worth a darn.

Upon review, I see Mama Zappa’s in similar straits.

I hear ya, Mama Zappa - that would be excellent, wouldn’t it. SpouseO and I have more money withheld from our check for this very reason. We’re both already at 0 deductions and I’m tired of being surprised come tax time, so we’ve gone to the extra withholding. We used the estimator at the IRS; we’ll see how we come out next year, I suppose.

I was super worried about it this year - I was laid off in June, worked some time as an independent contractor, then found a job in October. I’d made an estimated tax payment out of the contracting funds, but didn’t know how close I’d gotten it, so I was really concerned we’d owe a ton. Ended up having to pay Uncle Sam $10. That was a wonderful surprise, even if I did owe some!

I haven’t ever had to pay in! This may have something to do with the fact that I make <20k/yr, and also deduct my tuition every year. :wink:

(My tax refund was spent before February 1st)