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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    3

    Question Married, 88k, Own Home, No Kids - Only $814 Back

    My wife and I aren't seeing any money coming back!

    We earned 88K together, paid 8,900 in fed taxes, have 3K in donations, 4K in mortgage....


    Does anyone have any idea what I may be doing wrong? I know my wife's work didn't change her W2 status to married in 2009 (we got married in 2008). Is that what is messing everything up?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
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    16,307

    Default Re: Married, 88k, Own Home, No Kids - Only $814 Back

    We cannot look at your taxes from here and somehow deduce what your problem might be.

    If you haven't used a tax software program like TaxACT or TurboTax or H&R, I suggest you do that. If things are still bedeviling you, see a paid preparer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    3

    Default Re: Married, 88k, Own Home, No Kids - Only $814 Back

    I am using TurboTax online.

    I was just wondering if that sounds right? My single friends are getting back over 2K...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Married, 88k, Own Home, No Kids - Only $814 Back

    if things work like they are supposed to, you shouldn't get anything back nor have to pay in. Obviously our system cannot account for all contingencies throughout the year so at the end of the year you settle up.


    I do not understand why people complain when they get very little back. It's not a savings account.


    so, if you had the appropriate amount withheld, you should come out even at the end of the year.

    So, if you want to have a lot next year on your return, have extra taken out through the year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    1,995

    Default Re: Married, 88k, Own Home, No Kids - Only $814 Back

    Quote Quoting zaibatsu9
    View Post
    My wife and I aren't seeing any money coming back!

    We earned 88K together, paid 8,900 in fed taxes, have 3K in donations, 4K in mortgage....


    Does anyone have any idea what I may be doing wrong? I know my wife's work didn't change her W2 status to married in 2009 (we got married in 2008). Is that what is messing everything up?
    Your mortgage interest deductions sounds kinda low, at least compared to house prices and taxes in my area. If people you know are deducting 8K in interest, and another 3K in RE taxes, then their refund should be larger.

    Then other people could've have more children, tax credits that you are not entitled too. We don't have all the access to your tax situation, and those of your friends to make a judgment.

    If you paid 8,900 in fed taxes, you got $814 back, it sounds about right to me.

    I handle the payroll for my place, I do the deductions, and I have people coming to me all the time complaining that maybe the amount taken out are either too large, or too small. One guy had me take out a few extra dollars out to make his refund larger. I told him just to put the money in the bank instead, but he wouldn't listen.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,344

    Default Re: Married, 88k, Own Home, No Kids - Only $814 Back

    If you and your wife want a larger refund you'll need to have more withheld from your paychecks during the year. Dual income couples need to be more careful about withholding because each job withholds as if that will be the only income. When you add the two incomes together it pushes the couple into a higher tax bracket and that can be a problem. Use the worksheet that goes with form W-4 diligently to get it right. You can have extra money withheld if you like. Having kids can dramatically alter things, but I don't recommend them just to get bigger tax refunds.

    You need mortgage interest / donations / taxes / medical / etc. in excess of $11,400 as a married couple to benefit from itemized deductions. Otherwise you're better off taking the standard deduction.

    An accountant will tell you to break even and save money yourself. If we were machines that would work fine, but we're not and that extra $30 per paycheck usually gets spent for something trivial. So I have no problem with people getting large refunds as a way of saving for purchases that require a lump sum of money that's hard for them to save. It's better than no saving it and using a credit card for the purchase, like a vacation or living room furniture or what ever.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,307

    Default Re: Married, 88k, Own Home, No Kids - Only $814 Back

    I was just wondering if that sounds right?
    How are we supposed to be able to tell? Taxes are not a cookie cutter thing, where everyone has the same withholding, deductions, and credits. It's all different for everyone.

    My single friends are getting back over 2K...
    They likely made less, had higher withholding, more deductions and/or credits...and they're not married.

    As JK already noted, it's not a savings account, and the ideal situation is that you have the correct withholding through the year so you neither get a refund nor owe any tax.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Married, 88k, Own Home, No Kids - Only $814 Back

    Sounds like you are playing "refund roulette" with your friends. The "winner" is the one who got the biggest refund; nothing else matters just the size of the refund for sudden "mad" money. It has always amazed me on how so many otherwise intelligent people can display such a lack of knowledge of math and finance. They had fun; I always "lost" that game. --- The real winner is the one who has to pay the most without getting into penalties.

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