Estimated Tax Refund Too Little?

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Status: Single
Dependents: None
Income: 47,756
Federal Withheld: 5403
State Withheld: 1764
Claimable Student Loan Interest: 776
No large purchases/mortgage
Full time employee

I used Tax Slayer online and H&R Block’s tax refund estimator. They both gave me about a $ 200 refund for Federal. Tax Slayer said I owe about $ 115 for State.

Last year, I was a student for about 4 months and earned about 21,000. I got a Federal refund of $ 1,600 and even a small refund from the state (after having H&R Block compute everything).

Is it possible that my refund has decreased this dramatically compared to last year? Am I doing something wrong?

5 Comments
  1. Reply
    Mommy to 4 boys :)
    January 27, 2011 at 1:55 am

    I used the Turbo Tax refund estimator and entered your info. It says your estimated refund is $ 1154. I did put in you were head of household (I am assuming you are supporting yourself and paying your own bills.) When I changed your status to not head of household, the refund lowered to $ 209..so maybe you did not put in head of household?

    Both my sister and I used this before we got our taxes actually done by an accountant and it was very close to our actual refund ammount.

    http://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/calculators/taxcaster/index.jsp?height=720&width=980&s=1

  2. Reply
    nisha
    January 27, 2011 at 2:05 am

    yes,go to a tax preparer and ask them this!

  3. Reply
    the tax lady
    January 27, 2011 at 2:05 am

    Welcome to being an adult. If you wish to get a bigger refund (which isn’t necessary for the IRS, you just don’t want to owe), you need to adjust your W-4 at work.

    You can’t be HOH.
    Last year you may have had an education credit.

    47756 – 9356 – 776 (interest) = 37630.
    Tax table amount = $ 5594/

    Withholding $ 5403
    Making Work Pay credit $ 400.

    Refund of $ 209. Look right to me.

  4. Reply
    CarVolunteer
    January 27, 2011 at 2:47 am

    For 2008, if you worked for 8 months and earned 21,000, you were probably having taxes withheld as though you were earning 31,500 for 12 months. Taxes on 31,500 are more than 1.5 times the taxes on 21,000, so you would have had too much withheld, and therefore got a substantial refund. For 2009, you worked 12 months and they withheld for 12 months, and you came out close.

    Actual numbers:

    Tax on 21,000 for 2008: 21000-9000 (approximate exemption + std deduction) = 12000. Tax about 1400.
    Tax on 31,500 for 2008: 31500-9000 = 22500. Tax about 3000. You would have withheld 2000.

    Owed 1400 withheld 2000, refund 600. But you don’t say how many months you worked, just how many you were in school. If you worked 6 months, taxes would have been withheld as though you were earning 42000.

    Tax on 42000 for for 2008: 42000-9000 = 33000, tax about 4600, 2300 hundred withheld and 900 refund.

  5. Reply
    Max M
    January 27, 2011 at 2:59 am

    H&R Block’s Tax Cut seems to give different numbers and missing some forms from Turbo Tax. I tried both every year. I’d stick with the Turbo Tax results.

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