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View Poll Results: What are you getting/owing the government for 2018?
I owe the government > $5000 1 1.20%
I owe the government > $1000 9 10.84%
I owe the government $101-999 4 4.82%
I nailed my withholding EXACTLY +/- $100 because I am a wizard 5 6.02%
I loaned the government $101-999 13 15.66%
I loaned the government > $1000 39 46.99%
I loaned the government > $5000 12 14.46%
Voters: 83. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-16-2019, 01:37 PM   #1
shikataganai
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Lightbulb 2018 Tax Refund thread

As was the case in years past, this will largely be a placeholder for a few weeks but then can be a place where people can argue about loaning money to the govt interest-free vs. forced savings, etc.



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Old 01-16-2019, 01:39 PM   #2
shikataganai
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Also of interest: How did your effective tax rate (not the amount of your refund/payment as that's dependent on your withholding choices) change post tax cut? Did anyone trickle down on you?
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:40 PM   #3
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I bought a house last year, just in time to make itemization not worth it.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:43 PM   #4
shikataganai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orndog View Post
I bought a house last year, just in time to make itemization not worth it.
The tax law was telling you to step up and pay more interest so that you could crest that standard deduction.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:50 PM   #5
VpointVick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
Also of interest: How did your effective tax rate (not the amount of your refund/payment as that's dependent on your withholding choices) change post tax cut? Did anyone trickle down on you?
I'm going to flout what you said here and just say that the very small amount that was reduced in my withholding due to the changed tax law was almost directly offset by my refund being less by about the same amount. Not a damn thing trickled down on me.

My income and withholding were near identical to last year, I didn't even look at my tax rate.

~$688 refund Federal
~$17 refund NC

Last edited by VpointVick; 01-16-2019 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:56 PM   #6
orndog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
Also of interest: How did your effective tax rate (not the amount of your refund/payment as that's dependent on your withholding choices) change post tax cut? Did anyone trickle down on you?
My monthly income increased by just over $80 (before my raise kicked in), but I can't and won't be able to speak to refund as my income went up and I bought a house, so no way to compare.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:12 PM   #7
shikataganai
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Originally Posted by VpointVick View Post
I'm going to flaunt what you said here and just say that the very small amount that was reduced in my withholding due to the changed tax law was almost directly offset by my refund being less by about the same amount. Not a damn thing trickled down on me.

My income and withholding were near identical to last year, I didn't even look at my tax rate.

~$870 refund Federal
~$17 refund NC
If you use TurboTax then on the first page of the PDF that it saves is your XXXX Federal Tax Return Summary. Last line: Effective Tax Rate.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
If you use TurboTax then on the first page of the PDF that it saves is your XXXX Federal Tax Return Summary. Last line: Effective Tax Rate.
It doesn't appear to be on the forms that they provide but I was able to calculate it for this year. I can't see my last years to give a comparison though since that's one of the few things that they can still hold over us free customers. I have last year's saved on my laptop at home, will post back when I get there.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:39 PM   #9
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My marginal rate dropped from 33% to 32%, but my SALT deductions are severely limited so I expect my marginal rate to go up; jury is out until I calculate AMT, which I have not studied up on for 2018 yet.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:40 PM   #10
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I usually owe between $1K to $3K to both CA and feds.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
Also of interest: How did your effective tax rate (not the amount of your refund/payment as that's dependent on your withholding choices) change post tax cut? Did anyone trickle down on you?
I went up 2 tax brackets I believe, maybe it’s just 1 bracket, can’t remember. Under prior tax bill I could have written off my mileage, car payment, insurance and depreciation. Under the current tax bill I get a giant “go **** yourself.”

Waiting on my TD Ameritrade to calculate my earnings. I closed out a ton of stock in January that I was very profitable on.

Interested to see what my taxes look like. Going to talk to my cpa and see if I can drive for Uber 1 night a week and write off my car payment, insurance and depreciation.

I'm assuming i'll have to write a check again this year due to gains from stock market. Last year was a metric **** ton of cash I owed.

Last edited by godfather2112; 01-16-2019 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:55 PM   #12
johnnyb
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Filed my taxes with TurboTax. $3k is on the way to my bank and I will be debt free for the first time in a long time. Feels good man.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:14 PM   #13
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I'm very much looking forward to what I'll get back. For '17, bonuses and ESPP and stock price for RSUs all conspired to pay $Texas....which I won't complain about. Put me on estimated tax payments for 2018, which I paid quarterly. Lower bonuses, stock not as good and a quarter where the execs were morons, thus we get punished (zero bonus for a quarter), so I think I overpaid a lot. Oh, I also dropped with holding to zero at single rate. Maybe I'll have an entire month's worth of tuition coming back. Either that or for some unknown reason, I'll owe $Texas.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VpointVick View Post
I'm going to flout what you said here and just say that the very small amount that was reduced in my withholding due to the changed tax law was almost directly offset by my refund being less by about the same amount. Not a damn thing trickled down on me.

My income and withholding were near identical to last year, I didn't even look at my tax rate.

~$688 refund Federal
~$17 refund NC
Looks similar to what I'm getting back this year. I claim 0. No kids, not married and I don't own a house. Why do I get screwed every year!?
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:25 PM   #15
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Still waiting on W2s and I'm too lazy to estimate. Expecting a bigger refund but not $Texas. Maybe $Rhode Island.

IB someone calls it a tax return
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:26 PM   #16
VpointVick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl Jam View Post
Looks similar to what I'm getting back this year. I claim 0. No kids, not married and I don't own a house. Why do I get screwed every year!?
I got ~75% of what I did last year. My withholding had gone down by about $11/fortnight, but yeah, all of that was eaten by the reduced refund.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:34 PM   #17
Poor-AssRacing
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Originally Posted by Integra96 View Post
IB someone calls it a tax return
I came here to post this.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:11 PM   #18
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Claimed 2 allowances and should be getting back around 7-8k based on estimations.....

I'll take it! Plus a nice little year end bonus around February.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:30 PM   #19
Chuck H
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Haven't gotten my W2 yet, even though it's electronic. My company likes to hold out till the last few days.

I used the IRS calculator back in Sept, and realized I was probably under-withholding, so I added another $100 a week on my W4 for the remainder of the year to catch up. But I made a mistake of only using our salaries and forgot that she got a pretty decent profit-sharing bonus last year, so I think I still came out a couple of thousand short, after doing some quick napkin calculations based on our last 2018 pay stubs.

The thing I can't understand is, since personal exemptions went away, why are they still the primary mechanism on the W4 for controlling how much you have withheld? I really wish someone would publish the formulas that employers use based on W4 info to determine withholding. Because after trying all sorts of different combos for the last few years, I still can't figure out how to fill them out properly to make our combined withholding work out when I make 2.5x to 3x what my wife does. I suspect it's because that last dollar of her salary is in a much lower tax bracket than the last dollar of mine and the last dollar of our combined household income. So they don't withhold anywhere near enough out of her check, and I'm always trying to figure out how much extra to withhold from mine to make it work. I would love it if instead of exemptions plus lump sum, you could just specify a percentage of your income to withhold on the W4, since it gives you much more exact control over it than the current system.

EDIT: Just found Notice 1036 on the IRS website that directs employers exactly how to work the W4. Hopefully I can use that to figure out how to get it right for 2019!

Last edited by Chuck H; 01-16-2019 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:45 PM   #20
docwhorocks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
The tax law was telling you to step up and pay more interest so that you could crest that standard deduction.
In the past 5 years or so, our deductions were less than the standard. I'm sure we'll beat it this year though right?!

Taxes are gonna hurt this year. Rolling over an IRA, some capital gains, and wife made a little chunk of change selling Dotera. Humble brag?
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:33 PM   #21
shikataganai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Integra96 View Post
IB someone calls it a tax return
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poor-AssRacing View Post
I came here to post this.
This is why I started the thread this year and the last two, to make sure the right word is used.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl Jam View Post
Looks similar to what I'm getting back this year. I claim 0. No kids, not married and I don't own a house. Why do I get screwed every year!?
Why are you unhappy with having your withholdings just about correct? You should be happy with that. The only thing that matters is your effective rate.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:34 PM   #22
shikataganai
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If my withholding was anything close to correct for this year I'll get about $25k back between Federal and state. That's due to two electric cars bought during the year in a state with a $5k/car tax credit.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:42 PM   #23
VpointVick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VpointVick View Post
It doesn't appear to be on the forms that they provide but I was able to calculate it for this year. I can't see my last years to give a comparison though since that's one of the few things that they can still hold over us free customers. I have last year's saved on my laptop at home, will post back when I get there.
I apparently neglected to save last year's return.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:51 PM   #24
Poor-AssRacing
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I have quite a bit of uncertainty this year. In past years, I've had quite a lot that's affected my return (wife's income, kids, nanny/Schedule H, investments, rental property, K-1 from my company, even the medical deduction for a few years as we went through IVF and the birth of our twins), but it was always pretty manageable. What always held me up was Fidelity's release of auto-import info for TurboTax, so I was generally filing around February 15.

This year, though, my wife will be receiving a K-1 due to her stepfather's estate settling (this took 8 years and would warrant a separate thread to discuss). Normally, this could be pretty straightforward, but a huge family rift that occurred after her father's death throws a big wrench into the process. Her aunt, who now runs the family businesses and partnership, has done some dastardly things since her brother's death. You know, like holding up the estate settlement for 8 years. So I have no idea how to even estimate what the K-1 amount will be, what various boxes may be checked on the form, or even when it may be issued. It's going to be a waiting game of indeterminate length, and the "git 'er done now" in me is going to go crazy while it plays out. Add to this the Trump changes in the tax laws, and throwpapersinair.jpg

This may be the first year I file an extension....which, if you believe an accountant friend of mine, actually lowers the risk of an audit. So, yay, I guess?
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:20 AM   #25
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I'm hoping to be close to 0 this year. Last year we ended up getting back a couple thousand.
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