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03-11-2016 01:54 AM  5 years ago
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gmcullan

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Southbridge, MA

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I just don't get it!
2015 income down from 2014, withholdings up, deductions up, and I've gone from a small refund last year to a considerable tax owed this year. Ran the numbers several times hoping I made a mistake on data entry.

What the heck! The damn tax code changes so much year to year, makes it very difficult to plan.
Gerry Cullan,
Gaui 200, 255; T-Rex 250, 450 SE & SA, Mini-Titan, Blade 450
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03-11-2016 02:03 AM  5 years ago
TruckRacer

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Des Moines, Iowa

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A refund, what's that? I don't remember the last time I had one of those.
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03-11-2016 02:12 AM  5 years ago
RPM 1.5 (RIP)

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Cape May New Jersey

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YOUR PAYING FOR SCUMBALLS FREE STUFF

FOOD RENT MEDICAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ray
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03-11-2016 02:18 AM  5 years ago
drummerboycody

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SPOKANE VALLEY Wa. US

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^^ Exactly and ridiculous
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03-11-2016 02:32 AM  5 years ago
wrongler

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Brewerton, New York

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Dont forget medical also!Bill Whittaker
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03-12-2016 06:34 PM  5 years ago
junkpilot

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Alamogordo N.M.

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It ain't adding up!
Did you remember to claim all those Muslims O Bama is forcing you to support
Junkpilot
When you fly JUNK it's hard to tell when you've crashed!
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03-12-2016 10:20 PM  5 years ago
ticedoff8

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Morgan Hill, CA. USA

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Did you refinance your house last year?

Due to Obama and Elisabeth Warren's saving the US from economic collapse (in '07 & '08) and reining in the scumbag credit card companies, the interest rate on a 30 year fixed dropped to under 4%.

Once I refinanced, my Mortgage Interest deduction dropped by almost 70%.
That turned what used to be a modest tax refund into owing taxes.

I ended up having to scrape around looking for other deductions to compensate.
+ > ÷
Believe 1/2 of what you see and none of what you hear.
Fake News will be the downfall of our Republic!
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03-13-2016 03:01 PM  5 years ago
jharkin

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Holliston, MA - USA

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** Going to ignore the dimwits who want to make this a political rant and focus on the actual question **

Gerry-

Are you using paper forms or a tax preparation software like HR Block, Turbotax?

If its one of the software packages it should have imported last years return to start and then give you a report of what changed year to year.

The tax code changes in the last year are fairly minimal. They didn't make any major changes to the brackets, and the exemptions and deduction phaseout ranges all indexed up for inflation slightly.

You said your income was down and your deductions and withholding are up. Did you mean you had more witheld or claimed more withholding allowances on your paycheck? If you increased the allowance during the year in anticipation of a larger refund then maybe you miscalculated something.

Any major life events like getting married, getting divorced, selling a house, refinancing like ticedoff metnioned (I also ended up owing when I refied from 4.75 down to 3.5 a few years ago), moving to a different state with higher or lower state tax, kids moving out so no longer can claim the child credit, etc that would have changed things?

Lower income means you probably paid less state income tax, so that would lower part of your deductions.

Did you double check to make sure you entered your health insurance info? If you missed that it may improperly be hitting your with the shared responsibility penalty for ACA.

Did you do anything with your retirement plans that might trigger a tax liability like convert a tIRA to Roth?

Or maybe you have some odd situation that triggered the AMT? (Not likely as most people who fall into this are in the income class where they have accountants and lawyers to handle their taxes )
-Jeremy
Whiplash-G
Helix 700G
T-Rex 450 fbl conversion
alot of planks
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03-13-2016 04:55 PM  5 years ago
RICH.L

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gentry arkansas

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kind of funny in a strange way my income was down $10,000 last year and I also owe for federal income taxes.

at least 3 people at my work are getting over $9,000 back.

life is cruel sometimes!

rich
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03-13-2016 05:33 PM  5 years ago
jharkin

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Holliston, MA - USA

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Anybody who is getting $9000 back needs to learn how to read the instructions on the W-4 They just gave Uncle Sam a nice interest free loan.-Jeremy
Whiplash-G
Helix 700G
T-Rex 450 fbl conversion
alot of planks
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03-13-2016 07:35 PM  5 years ago
Gary Jenkins

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Nowhere, US

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You just don't get it, but they do.

Did you ever notice:
When you put the 2 words 'The' and 'IRS' together it spells 'Theirs...'
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03-13-2016 08:45 PM  5 years ago
ticedoff8

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Morgan Hill, CA. USA

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Anybody who is getting $9000 back needs to learn how to read the instructions on the W-4 They just gave Uncle Sam a nice interest free loan
Agree 100%
And, there are millions of people just like that across the country.

It always amazes me when I hear people celebrate their "big refund" at the end of the year.
H&R Block knows this, and that's why their commercials celebrate "Tax Refund Season".

Assuming I did everything correctly, I would rather pay $1,000 to the IRS than get $1,000 "refund".
+ > ÷
Believe 1/2 of what you see and none of what you hear.
Fake News will be the downfall of our Republic!
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03-15-2016 12:13 PM  5 years ago
sjgusmc21

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San Antonio, Texas

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Anybody who is getting $9000 back needs to learn how to read the instructions on the W-4 They just gave Uncle Sam a nice interest free loan.

Well said! I keep telling people this. You should aim to break even. Screw giving them a free loan.
When you put the 2 words 'The' and 'IRS' together it spells 'Theirs...'
Exactly!
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03-16-2016 11:31 PM  5 years ago
gmcullan

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Southbridge, MA

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This past year was my first full year of retirement. I never considered how heavily my SS would be taxed. My error, live and learn!Gerry Cullan,
Gaui 200, 255; T-Rex 250, 450 SE & SA, Mini-Titan, Blade 450
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03-17-2016 02:39 AM  5 years ago
TruckRacer

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Des Moines, Iowa

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I've been retired for three years now. I've learned to dislike the term "Tax Deferred Income". Retired or not, taxes go on forever.
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03-18-2016 06:05 PM  5 years ago
jharkin

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Holliston, MA - USA

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This past year was my first full year of retirement. I never considered how heavily my SS would be taxed. My error, live and learn!
Thanks, that was a BIG piece of info you left out from your question and helps explain things

Yes - Social Security benefits are taxable, up to 85% of your benefit, if you are over a minimum combined income threshold. And that minimum is so low (25k to tax part of it, $34k to tax 85% of it) that most people end up paying something unless you are living on SS alone.

There are some strategies you could look at to reduce the hit. If your non-SS income is coming out of a 401k/IRA/etc and you have any money in a tax free plan like a Roth IRA you could take more of your distributions out of the Roth to reduce your overall tax liability. If most of your earnings are from a defined benefit pension your options are more limited.

If you do have extensive IRA money, one thing you might want to do is calculate what your tax burden is going to be when you hit 70 and RMD's kick in, as that might bump you into an even higher marginal bracket than you are in now. If that's the case it might be worth taking the hit to convert some of your TIRA money to Roth IRA now (up to the limit of your current tax bracket) so you can reduce the size of the RMDs and take the difference from Roth after 70 reducing your taxes in the later decades of retirement.

There is a lot of good reading on these topics at bogleheads (my favorite source of financial advice)

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Soc...pact_calculator
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Tax...curity_benefits

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Tax_basics
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Tax..._fund_placement

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Pre..._for_retirement
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Cat...rement_planning
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Bog...rement_Planning

--

Side note - The tax mitigation strategy for a pension plan I hinted at above is to take a lump sum buyout if one is offered, roll that into a TIRA, then defer taking distribution and convert some of it to Roth in years you are in a low tax bracket. Be very careful if you consider this. #1 its a complex strategy that can get you into some tax problems if you dont know what you are doing. #2 most pension plans still use a very high 7+% IRR in the annuity schedule and you are going to be hard pressed to beat that return investing the lump sum in the market right now without taking on a lot of risk. The bottom line is the lump sum payout typically only makes sense if you have a known low life expectancy due to illness, etc and the pension has a poor survivors benefit and/or you are just looking to maximize your estate.
-Jeremy
Whiplash-G
Helix 700G
T-Rex 450 fbl conversion
alot of planks
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03-18-2016 06:43 PM  5 years ago
don s

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Chesapeake, VA

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Assuming I did everything correctly, I would rather pay $1,000 to the IRS than get $1,000 "refund".
We owe about $100 this year. Don't know if I could do better than that.
E820, Raptor G4N, X50F/E, E620, Forza 450, and some planks.
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