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General bitching about Federal Tax Return

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by TX Mudder, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    I am married filed seperately (becuase my wife's exhusband owes backtaxes and the IRS likes to take her refund to pay his debt. )

    I also am claiming my daughter as a dependant. So that's two dependants total. My paycheck withholdings should technically be M-2, but I always have them take out at the S-0 (much higher) rate. You would think I would be getting a big refund back.

    I paid in over $14,000 in taxes. I'm getting back under $500. <font color="red"> </font> WTF </font> /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif

    Can you imagine if I actually claimed my m-2 status - I would owe the governent several thousand.

    If only I could Willie Nelson my taxes /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif

    This is a bunch of crap. [/understatment of the year]
     
  2. bigyellowjimmy

    bigyellowjimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Yes it is a bunch of crap, needless Federal Govt spending equals money out of your and my pocket. If John Kerry gets elected he's promised to RAISE Federal taxes in his first 100 days. Ugh. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  3. justinf

    justinf 1/2 ton status

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    I understand what you are saying. My wife and I file married filing jointly. we both claimed 1 on our withholdings, no kids or anything else. Well, we had to pay in $1450 this year /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif
     
  4. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    I was excited that I just almost did it right this year. I got $2100 back last year, but this year I had to pay in $42....not too shabby! /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  5. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    If only I could Willie Nelson my taxes

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Hell yeah! /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif

    I'm actually fairly pleased with my taxes...I figured I was going to have to pay but I got 450 clams(aka rent) back. I filed online so my return was direct deposited into my checking account..ah hell yeah!...
     
  6. gjk5

    gjk5 3/4 ton status

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    Have any of you guys used an accountant? H&amp;R Block etc? If you are a W-2 employee, and your employer isn't screwing up your withholding; you should never owe, and just about always get money back. If you are taking standard deductions, bend over. You have to itemize. This may take longer, but your check will make it worthwhile. Spend the $250, the difference in your refund WILL make up for it.
     
  7. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    It's up to the employee to figure out the correct amount to have deducted. Enter the correct numbers onto the W4 Worksheet and it should tell you how many deductions to claim. When the husband and wife both work, you need to do the worksheet or each employer may end up not deducting enough from your paycheck. Payroll computer systems calculate your personal total income expected for the year and then calculate your income tax bracket. But at the end of the year, when both you and your spouses incomes are totalled up together, you may get popped into a higher tax bracket, which means you owe more money. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    You also have to be careful about income from other sources. For example, it you own shares in a mutual fund that sold and bought stock in the last year, you can end up getting a big surprise come tax time when you find out that you owe taxes on short or long term capital gains due to the shares traded in the mutual fund. /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif

    It also helps to have a mortgage, instead of paying rent. Here's a somewhat simplified example: Someone could be paying $1,000 a month to rent a house, while the person next door is paying $1,000 a month to buy a similar house. The one with the mortgage gets to deduct the interest on the loan. So for someone in the 30% income tax bracket, their "real" cost of paying the monthly mortgage on the home becomes right around $700 a month during the first few years of the loan. The other $300 per month is the savings from taking the tax deduction. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    If you really want to take advantage of the tax laws, start your own business. There are a lot of perfectly legal ways to shelter income from taxes when you're self-employed. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  8. gjk5

    gjk5 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    It's up to the employee to figure out the correct amount to have deducted. Enter the correct numbers onto the W4 Worksheet and it should tell you how many deductions to claim. When the husband and wife both work, you need to do the worksheet or each employer may end up not deducting enough from your paycheck. Payroll computer systems calculate your personal total income expected for the year and then calculate your income tax bracket. But at the end of the year, when both you and your spouses incomes are totalled up together, you may get popped into a higher tax bracket, which means you owe more money. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    You also have to be careful about income from other sources. For example, it you own shares in a mutual fund that sold and bought stock in the last year, you can end up getting a big surprise come tax time when you find out that you owe taxes on short or long term capital gains due to the shares traded in the mutual fund. /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif

    It also helps to have a mortgage, instead of paying rent. Here's a somewhat simplified example: Someone could be paying $1,000 a month to rent a house, while the person next door is paying $1,000 a month to buy a similar house. The one with the mortgage gets to deduct the interest on the loan. So for someone in the 30% income tax bracket, their "real" cost of paying the monthly mortgage on the home becomes right around $700 a month during the first few years of the loan. The other $300 per month is the savings from taking the tax deduction. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    If you really want to take advantage of the tax laws, start your own business. There are a lot of perfectly legal ways to shelter income from taxes when you're self-employed. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    To some extent you are correct, the employee does determine the filing status. This does not mean that the employer is collecting the correct amount (not all of them use a payroll Co. or software). I have a client right now who made $43K last year and the employer only collected $1800 in Fed. withholding. Needless to say he is pissed as the IRS sees this as the taxpayer's problem. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    You can also have a huge problem with commissioned employees, as the final yearly income is difficult to anticipate. /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif

    As far as the mortgage part, I couldn't agree more.(Especially considering my line of work /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif) I had an almost 12K interest deduction this year.

    Opening your own business has worked great for me, although being truly self-employed with no other income source can be difficult.(i.e. no health ins., paid a bundle of $$$$ when my daughter was born in Jan.) But even if the business is not your main income, it affords you the luxury of using those write-offs.

    At least in CO. the cost of having a business "entity" with no actual overhead is very low, even selling a couple of off-road accessories could open up a lot of deductibles. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  9. justinf

    justinf 1/2 ton status

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    The problem with the mortgage and itemizing deductions, is you have to be able to itemize a greater amount than the standard deduction. I have a mortgage and all that, but still wasn't able to itemize enough to get over the standard deduction.
     
  10. gjk5

    gjk5 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    The problem with the mortgage and itemizing deductions, is you have to be able to itemize a greater amount than the standard deduction. I have a mortgage and all that, but still wasn't able to itemize enough to get over the standard deduction.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    You're not trying hard enough! /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif


    Seriously, do you have to drive anywhere work related?
    Do you use a cell phone for work?
    Did you give anything to charity? (you would be surprised how quick this adds up, I haven't had a garage sale in 5 years, average of $8K/year in "stuff" given to S.A.)
    Did you take any prospective customers out to eat?
    Did you go on any trips that could be REMOTELY business related?

    If you can deal with paying about double, you should find a good agressive acct.. He will pay for himself every year.
     
  11. gm4x

    gm4x 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Have any of you guys used an accountant? H&amp;R Block etc? If you are a W-2 employee, and your employer isn't screwing up your withholding; you should never owe, and just about always get money back. If you are taking standard deductions, bend over. You have to itemize. This may take longer, but your check will make it worthwhile. Spend the $250, the difference in your refund WILL make up for it.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Saw a story on Dateline last week about H&amp;R Block. They "suggest" you not pay fees now, they'll take them out of your refund. Needless to say, they fail to mention all the fees /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif Best deal (if you use H&amp;R) pay fees then, that way there's no "hidden" fees announced later.

    Related note:
    I worked a total of 3-4 months all last year. Cost me $280 to determine I owed $269 /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
     
  12. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    The problem with the mortgage and itemizing deductions, is you have to be able to itemize a greater amount than the standard deduction. I have a mortgage and all that, but still wasn't able to itemize enough to get over the standard deduction.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    You're not trying hard enough! /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif


    Seriously, do you have to drive anywhere work related?
    Do you use a cell phone for work?
    Did you give anything to charity? (you would be surprised how quick this adds up, I haven't had a garage sale in 5 years, average of $8K/year in "stuff" given to S.A.)
    Did you take any prospective customers out to eat?
    Did you go on any trips that could be REMOTELY business related?

    If you can deal with paying about double, you should find a good agressive acct.. He will pay for himself every year.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yepper!

    Did you buy any clothes for work? Work boots? Tools? All of these can be deducted. Do you use your personal vehicle for work. Other than the commute to and from work, additional mileage incurred can be deducted.(There's a worksheet that figures out a monetary value for your mileage.) The amount you pay in State taxes can be deducted from your Federal taxes. Any donations made to charity can be deducted. Did you buy girl scout cookies? A percentage of what you spent on those can be deducted. Did you pay for any supplemental education that was work related? You can deduct that. Union dues, deductible. That's just what I can think of off the top of my head. A good, knowlegeable tax preparer is an enormous benefit to you.

    If anyone around San Francisco needs an excellent tax preparer, PM me. The lady who does mine is SHARP, and a sweetheart to boot. She on't do anything illegal, but she will make sure you get back everything Uncle Sam owes you.
     
  13. boggerless

    boggerless 1 ton status Premium Member

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    H&amp;R BLOCK ssuuuccckkkss /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif i always did my own taxes untill i was married,i thought hr must know what they are doing, they PROMISE to go with you if your audited. OF COURSE THEY WILL cuz it won't happen.they don't use any real deductions so the won't ever get called down. three years ago i changed my with holdings to 9. allmost no taxes out of my check and with a REAL CPA i got over $500.00 back. itemize. you situation is a little different than mine,but when i got married my wife had her's garnished for simmilar reasons and i filed a form(can't remember which one) and got half of it back. it used to piss me of that it was only half, but it's better than nothing. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gifto /forums/images/graemlins/truck.gif
     
  14. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    This does not mean that the employer is collecting the correct amount (not all of them use a payroll Co. or software). I have a client right now who made $43K last year and the employer only collected $1800 in Fed. withholding.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Have you personally seen the clients W4 from last year? Unless you know for certain how many deductions he told the employer to take, then the client could be the one at fault. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif I'd also venture to guess that MOST employers do the deductions correctly, so that situation would be a pretty rare one.

    [ QUOTE ]
    You can also have a huge problem with commissioned employees, as the final yearly income is difficult to anticipate.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Any commissioned employee should investigate filing quarterly tax estimates with the IRS just to keep out of trouble. Sure, it's more of a hassle, but the IRS has forms specifically for people with variable incomes to keep track of things throughout the year. Screwing it up can get you into the penalty box. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  15. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    The problem with the mortgage and itemizing deductions, is you have to be able to itemize a greater amount than the standard deduction. I have a mortgage and all that, but still wasn't able to itemize enough to get over the standard deduction.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    You just need to buy a bigger house! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif But seriously, as a mortgage ages, the amount of interest being paid on it decreases. In the later years of the mortgage it gets less likely that you'll be able to take that deduction. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif But the good news is that by that time you should have a LOT of equity in the house. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  16. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    We use H&amp;R Block.

    For 2003 taxes, we got back $2900 in both state and federal taxes combined. We claim "0" on our W-2 forms and then when time to file, we claim "4" altogether. Helps to have kids I guess. /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif
     
  17. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    If only I could Willie Nelson my taxes

    [/ QUOTE ]
    /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif I think the IRS bagged o'l Willy for a lot more than $14000 /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif
     
  18. evilk5

    evilk5 Registered Member

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    single, no kids and have house payments, H&amp;R was able to figure out that I get $3700 back in 2004, too bad it went towards bills /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif(a little $ in K5 fund /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif)
     
  19. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, this ought to make you feel better..after everything is all said and done...our refund this year with being married, filing jointly, 2 kids, blah, blah, blah...is a whole whopping...........
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    $0.05!! /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif Man if they send us a check for 5 cents I'm going to frame it and hang in the wall! /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif
     
  20. landsmasher

    landsmasher 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    If you really want to take advantage of the tax laws, start your own business. There are a lot of perfectly legal ways to shelter income from taxes when you're self-employed.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yep... With all my deductions I made a whopping (minus)$-5000.00 for 2003. Geeesh this one might actually get me audited... /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     

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