How'd Your Tax Return Go

Mac'nCheese

Suspended
Original poster
Feb 9, 2010
3,732
4,973
There's a lot of talk about tax returns being a lot less this year because of the tax cuts. People didn't realize that they were getting a little bit more in each paycheck because of the cuts and then when their taxes were done, they didn't get the money back they usually did. I expected less than usual anyway since I changed my deductions and cashed in some bonds but I wasn't extremely disappointed like a lot of people seem to be.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rhonindk

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,255
7,786
Here(-ish)
Slightly better than last year with no changes in what was withheld.

We did have a few more deductions than last year though, especially in regards to nonprofit donations and student loan payments, so that helped us “make less.”
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mac'nCheese

kazmac

macrumors 604
Mar 24, 2010
7,941
5,530
Any place but here or there....
Better for this year. My preparer has to fill out multiple questions in regard to his clients before he can file our returns.

I generally get my refunds by now, but instead of my federal refund (which was larger due to school last year), I received the 5071c letter which required me to prove my identity :rolleyes: before the IRS would reprocess my federal return. I got that sorted on the phone earlier this week.

I may have to wait up to nine weeks to get that refund now, but the verification was painless once I got a hold of the agent. Next year will definitely be different (no school).

So better, but only due to school.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mac'nCheese

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
64,054
30,589
Boston
I was extremely nervous regarding my tax situation when the tax package was approved in 2017. I told my wife, to claim 0 on her W4 as I did and we both selected withhold as single. That level of concern and conservative nature worked out for us. I'm getting a return which is something my wife and I usually plan on for various projects.

What I hate, is that the personal exemption is gone, the gimping of the deductions is so severe that for the first time in over 20 years I'm not itemizing my expenses. That really bothers me.
 

daflake

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2008
919
4,225
Pretty much as I expected for us. To be fair, you really shouldn't be hoping for anything back. That means you have been giving uncle sam a interest free loan.
 
Last edited:

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
17,274
16,988
The Misty Mountains
I was extremely nervous regarding my tax situation when the tax package was approved in 2017. I told my wife, to claim 0 on her W4 as I did and we both selected withhold as single. That level of concern and conservative nature worked out for us. I'm getting a return which is something my wife and I usually plan on for various projects.

What I hate, is that the personal exemption is gone, the gimping of the deductions is so severe that for the first time in over 20 years I'm not itemizing my expenses. That really bothers me.
Not the forum for an in-depth discussion about this, There is a thread over in PRSI, but it appears a lot of people were fooled by this tax cut and should aknowledge who to thank for it. I itemized my taxes for 3 decades and have been unable since retiring 5 years ago, because I no longer have the work related deductions. I wonder if I was still working if I would be itemizing, and I think not.

My impression is that the people at the top (greatly) and bottom saved a little if they ended up paying any taxes, but those who relied on itemized deductions (Middle Class) took it on the chin. Would tat be accurate?
 
Last edited:

MattG

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2003
3,763
227
Asheville, NC
My impression is that the people at the top and bottom saved, but those who relied on itemized deductions (Middle Class) took it on the chin. Would tat be accurate?
YES, particularly those of us with no dependents (kids).

I was extremely nervous regarding my tax situation when the tax package was approved in 2017. I told my wife, to claim 0 on her W4 as I did and we both selected withhold as single. That level of concern and conservative nature worked out for us. I'm getting a return which is something my wife and I usually plan on for various projects.
Yes, my wife and I learned this the hard way this year. 2018 was the first full year we were married, and we didn't read the fine print. While we both claimed '0' dependents, since we're both wage earners we should have been filing "married but pay at the single rate." We did not. That when combined with changes to the tax code, we really got screwed. Next year won't be so bad...
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Huntn

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
64,054
30,589
Boston
we really got screwed
That sucks. It took a lot of effort on my part to convince my wife to reduce her taken home page, but in this case, we needed to be wary of long term consequences.

My impression is that the people at the top (greatly) and bottom saved a little if they ended up paying any taxes, but those who relied on itemized deductions (Middle Class) took it on the chin. Would tat be accurate?
That's my assessment as well, the middle class got screwed over once again. :(
 

millerj123

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2008
1,636
1,027
That sucks. It took a lot of effort on my part to convince my wife to reduce her taken home page, but in this case, we needed to be wary of long term consequences.


That's my assessment as well, the middle class got screwed over once again. :(
Well, that was exactly the plan.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2014
4,015
5,213
My wife and I had the highest income in 2018 than any year prior. We do not itemize and take the standard deduction, and our tax liability was actually less than the last few years.

Basically, we made out better than we thought we would.
 

MacDaddyPanda

macrumors regular
Dec 28, 2018
150
171
USA, CA
My situation from the previous was pretty much the same. Didn't change my W4 deductions and I actually got refund this year vs last year I owed slightly. Those that got screwed you should have adjusted your W4.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,782
16,177
Seems like aside from some withholding adjustments, as well as actual income levels, the other big piece of it all that plays a difference is whether or not itemization is involved. There's likely a bigger difference between previous years compared to now for those that own a house with a mortgage and have property taxes, and probably especially so if they are in a state with (higher) state taxes on top of it all.
 

Erehy Dobon

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2018
204
146
There's a lot of talk about tax returns being a lot less this year because of the tax cuts.
Please use the correct terminology.

You file a tax return. If you get any money back, that's a tax refund (not every one gets one and it can vary year by year).

What you are talking about is your tax liability, what you owe. Remember that some people generate significant income that aren't standard wages (which have income tax withheld), like investments.

This is a good time to remind (USA) people that getting a large tax refund is actually not ideal. That means you gave the government an interest free loan. You gave them money that was rightfully yours. If you had an excess $5,000 tax withheld and are due for a refund, you'll get $5,000 back. You don't earn any interest. If you had correctly forecasted your tax liability, that $5K could have been used for other purposes (investing, spending, charity, whatever).

The "correct" way to do this is to defer penalty-free payment as long as possible. That means if you need to pony up a few bucks when you file your return, that's a far more fiscally responsible way of handling this rather than waiting for the government to send you a check (or direct deposit).

If you are really on top of it, some years you might owe a few extra dollars, other years you might get a refund. You can tell the IRS to apply the refund to the following year's taxes.

For me in 2018? I don't have an answer yet, my appointment with my tax person is in a couple of weeks. A "quick back of the envelope" calculation makes me think that I might be due a small refund but I will apply that to my 2019 liability (TBD).
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: yaxomoxay