TAXES!!! :(

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by JustMe, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Mar 31, 2008

    I don't "get" taxes...really.

    I've always done our taxes myself, but earlier tonight when completing them online it says we will have to pay in a few thousand dollars! How can that be? Really? I don't understand...that seems criminal to me. I didn't go through with filing because I figure something must be wrong.

    My husband got his annual bonus a few weeks ago and in just one paycheck which covers a two week period the federal taxes took over four thousand dollars! :eek: That seems like enough to me, much less paying in more.

    Any advice, information, insight? We have never paid in before...
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    We had to pay in this year as well, to the tune of around $600. We've always received a refund in the past, so we figured that my husband must have inadvertently chosen the wrong amount (0 or 1...I can never remember) to have deducted from his paycheck.

    Did you use software like TurboTax? Did you try not itemizing your deductions? For us, we would have owed like $3,000 had we itemized... by not itemizing, we owed significantly less. TurboTax lets you go back and change things to see what it would be in different scenarios.

    Did you deduct everything you possibly could have deducted? Union dues, uniforms, student loan taxes, school supplies, etc....?

    If all that still doesn't give you what you want, you might want to take all your stuff to a CPA, like H&R Block or something. They surely know more about tax codes and deductions and whatnot.
     
  4. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Did you try comparing it to last years? Do you have kids? Do you have them in there?

    We have to pay too but not that much. Haven't done so yet. SInce we are anticipating Bush's stimulis check, I wonder if we can just file and then they deduct from the stimulis check. Anyone know?
     
  5. old-new teacher

    old-new teacher Comrade

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    Have either of you recently starting getting an additional smaller paycheck? One year my husband was sat as a master electrician for a company he didn't actively work for and received a $500/month check for it. The check was small enough that no federal taxes would get withheld, so at the end of the year, he had made $6000 of untaxed wages that we had to pay taxes on. I remember crying, wondering where we were going to come up with $1800! That was the first year they accepted credit cards for tax payments, so we threw it on a cc that had no interest for 6 months and paid it off that way.

    Another thing that might have happened is that you have moved up a tax bracket. Have you or your husband gotten a raise lately? Sometimes it only takes a few thousand extra in wages to bump you to the next, higher paying, tax bracket.

    I wish they would just adopt a straight flat tax! It would be A LOT easier and there would be no surprises!
     
  6. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    there is nothing to get. The way taxes are done is a joke! If you know how to work the system you could be making millions and pay a lower percentage for taxes than a family that takes home $100,000. But what do you expect...The system was designed by people that make a lot of money.
     
  7. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    I had to pay for the first time this year too. My income increased this year though, because I have more units towards my masters degree, so that is why I had to pay. Yuck!
     
  8. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Being single and paying taxes really stinks. The government apparently thinks that we are just rolling in money since we aren't married and don't have kids, but we have bills just like everyone else, and only one paycheck to pay it. My sister and brother-in-law barely finished highschool and both have minimum wage jobs. They get back around $5,000. I have a college degree (that I am still paying for!) have rent, insurance, etc (none of which they pay) and I am lucky to get a couple hundred back (which is better than paying). There really are a lot of loopholes in there. I just never seem to find them!
     
  9. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    You are probably in the range where there are very few loopholes (ie the middle class :D...where I reside). To get the loopholes you have to have enough to invest so you get capital gains (those are taxed at a lower rate...for the most part)
     
  10. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    I'm getting about $100 back. But I only worked for about a month and a half last year.

    This was bf's first year of working pretty much full time. I had already spent his refund in my head...and he is getting nothing back.
    His coworker made about $5000 more than him, and is getting a huge refund.
    I don't get it.
    The person that makes $10,000 pays, but the person that makes $15,000 doesn't?

    I think it's because his parents claimed him? That's all I can think.
     
  11. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    I guess no refund is better than owing though. Because we have a big fat nothing in the bank.

    His paycheck just barely covers everything we need. But it's tight every month.
     
  12. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    If his parents claimed him, then I can see why the refund would be nothing. We got back quite a bit, but that's going to pay the mortgage. No shopping spree here.
     
  13. HMM

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    If he was claimed that would have a big impact on his tax return (for the bad)...and his parents (for the good).
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I am using TurboTax and have managed to get what we owe down to $816. We don't have children, we haven't changed jobs, but we did make more this year. My husband got a raise and it was my first full calendar year teaching, so we made probably 40K more. Still, I just don't understand: just take it out to begin with! It is such a tease, and honestly, it just feels so criminal.
     
  15. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    It is impossible. We have to go to a CPA to figure it all out. It should really just be a standard formula...Income-deductions x %= what you owe/returned(depending on what was withdrawn)
     
  16. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    I find it is well worth the time and energy to have a competent CPA due my taxes. My CPA has been completing my family's forms for about 15 years. Maybe I rely on a CPA because when my sons were working, besides me, there were 8 tax forms that had to be completed, in state forms, out of state forms, and federal. Plus you can deduct the CPA fee on your form the following year. I also wanted my federal form completed ASAP so I could file for the FAFA without having to figure out everything myself.
     
  17. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Ours is going towards mortgage and some credit card bills... big fun:(
     
  18. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    What middle class? They are so gone:p
     
  19. TXTCHR29

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    I also have to pay in, and have for the past couple of years because I worked 2 jobs and didn't have enough taken out of my checks.
    I always file on time and then wait for them to send me a notice that I owe, then I file an extension to pay because I never have the money!

    I guess my stimulus check will be sent right back to them!!!
     
  20. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    I always owe but that is by design. Why let them take my money over a year when I can invest the money and get some kind of return. And if my investments lose money I can write it off. I'm a little shocked when I hear of people getting $5000 or more back...keep your money and invest it.
     
  21. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    HMM, I always get around $5000 "back", even though I have very little withheld during the year. By the time I figure out what I owe, then tack on the EITC, I wind up with a huge "refund"...which to me is just extra money, since my tax rate is always negative something or another.

    I try to do my withholding so that without the EITC, I would get as little back as possible. I go to that side because I could never be sure that I would have the money to actually pay taxes if I had to.
     
  22. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    just finished my taxes this last Sunday. I owe 1400 (federal) + a little to the state :D

    I'll essentially break even after I get the money from the "economic stimulus package"
     
  23. scienceteach82

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    I have to pay $100...I'm so pissed. I'm not giving them my money until the deadline...jerks

    I wasn't expecting that...so my budget is extra, extra tight now :(
     
  24. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    I'm not paying till the deadline either. I agree with your jerks comment :)
     
  25. corps2005

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    I don't like Uncle Sam

    My hubby and I are also very irate right now. We owe 1500 dollars. Remember that commercial where the guy is stuck while doing his taxes online? And then, his wife asks him what's wrong and to ask his people for help. He says he doesn't have people. She says, that's right, you bought a box. Then, she tells him to ask the box for help and he does...

    I feel like that right now.

    So, we finally caved and have a 7:30 appointment this evening to meet with a CPA. Our mortgage broker, who also fixed our house, who will also be an in-law soon, recommended us to this guy. Supposedly, this guy will pull every string he can without going legally over the line. He's supposed to be really good. He charges 150 to do the taxes, but he says that if he can't minimize what we owe by at least 150 or make what we owe go away, he'll waive the fee. So you can't really beat that.

    Our problem is that we HAD a refund of 1200. BUT then I added in an Americorps grant for 10k (which could be used ONLY for paying student loans or for paying for school) and suddenly we OWED 1500!!! I'm so ticked, words don't even describe how I feel right now.

    Our taxes are too complicated for me now with the new house and all. Our mortgage broker was asking me a lot of questions and told me I was missing out on several deductions.

    I'll let you guys know what happens! And, on a separate note, why on earth don't they forgive a teacher's students loans? At least, forgive some of them. Anything is better than nothing! Okay, I'm done. :p

    P.S. Forgive the numerous errors in my writing. I feel lazy right now. :p
     
  26. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Rebates

    P.S. Everyone knows that whatever rebate you get this year has to be reported on next year's income right? It's like an advance. That's what I was told.
     
  27. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Really, I have never done that! I hope they don't decide to audit me!
     
  28. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    You mean the rebate coming in May...not your tax refund right?
     
  29. corps2005

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    Yuppers, the rebate check they are sending out starting in May, not the refund.
     
  30. corps2005

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    CPAs are worth the money

    I definitely agree with some of the other posters about seeing a CPA. My hubby and I went today and were rather skeptical. Our appointment was a 7:30 but we had to wait until 9:15. The funny thing was there were several other people waiting, but no one was upset, which puzzled my husband. Now, we know why no one was upset. The man is a genius! We went from owing $1500 to getting a refund back of nearly $2300! I'm so excited right now! We are definitely coming back to him for life! If we move, I'm mailing him whatever he needs. :) Go CPAs!
     
  31. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    CPA's are the way to go. When my husband started having to file funky forms because he was a contractual employee we went to the HR blocks & Jackson Hewitts. We ended up owing more money with them, because they had no idea about all the tax nuances. GO CPA's. :2up:
     
  32. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    I think you whole process is pretty sad. You shouldn't have to hire someone to make sure that the government doesn't rip you off. I'm sure I'm overpaying (but not by much since my taxes are pretty simple).
     
  33. sub&mom

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    Last year my husband took a buyout from his job which kicked up our income. We took the advice of our CPA, and got nailed. We had to pay 25,000 in taxes. That isn't a typo..... It was half of his buyout, and just about every nickel we had in the bank at the time.

    this year we are getting a refund...but nothing close to last years payment.
     
  34. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    No, Lemonhead, they won't let you exchange the "stimulus" check for taxes owed.

    Why? Because they want you to go out and spend the money. But if we're smart, we'll use it to pay off credit card debt. Or debt that charges interest. That won't help the economy, but it will help individuals. That's what I'm doing.
     
  35. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Same here. The refund is going into the savings account...minus 700 to buy a really nice dining table and 6 chairs from craigslist. :p The rebate check is going to pay off a credit card. We're trying to get rid of the "little" debt in case a severe recession is in the cards. Last time, my hubby was among the pool of people his previous company let go. His brother just lost his job two days ago because the company is downsizing due to lost revenue. They laid off all higher-paid employees. My husband is a computer programmer, so we're preparing for the worst.
     
  36. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    what?!

    you mean they are going to tax the rebate they are giving us? they want us to actually report that as income??? That sucks!
     
  37. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    I don't do math...but

    Well, I do my taxes myself. I used H&R Block a few times, when I was really broke and desparate, and yeah..paid extra for that Refund Anticipation Loan. They have a lawsuit out on them, and I made sure I got on the list to get part of the settlement!

    I hate math big time, but for some reason, taxes are something I seem to do with little or no problem. I had decent refunds, and only had to pay back taxes twice, so far, that is.

    Last year, I became a homeowner, and ......

    THANK YOU Lord!!!

    I got a real fat check!!!!!

    Itemize, itemize, itemize...

    I have been a pack rat all my life, so I am not worried about being audited. I got copies of everything. Keep taxes for last 5 years too. you want it, I got it...

    And now you can get forms off the internet, no waiting 2 weeks in the mail or digging around the library or post office!

    I did my return as soon as I had my W2!!

    When I get my rebate check, I will save it for my property taxes...

    which I can write off on federal and state this year!

    You know, a friend suggested an accountant to me, but she was late and her office was messy! So I just told her no thanks, and did it myself. I say, if you are not sure, or looks like you owe, it is probably worth having somebody professional to do them for you.

    and... you can write off their fee as well!
     
  38. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Another taxpayer that will NOT be spending the rebate checks out in the economy...
     
  39. sub&mom

    sub&mom Companion

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    I second that! Maybe dinner out, and the rest in the bank!!
     
  40. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I third that. Mine is going towards medical bills.
     
  41. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Mine is probably going to grad school. But it won't even pay like half a class. lol

    Hmmm maybe a vacation??? :D
     

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