Tax Return Amount Question

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by njmomtoone, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. njmomtoone

    njmomtoone Mouseketeer

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    Please don't answer if you are only going to say that I sholdn't "lend" my money to the governement for free for the year and then get a return. I know alot of people look forward to the return, I am onw of them :)

    With that said...just did the taxes and the Fedeal and State Refund (we live in NJ) is much less that the past two years.

    Not much has changed. Total income went up about $5000. Mortgage interest paid went down $3000. I did notice that the child tax credit went down from $1000 to $800 . We still have real estate taxes and child care deductions.

    Is there something that I am not aware of that would change the refund by and make it more than $1600 less for federal and $600 less for state? Not sure if there are some new tax laws or something.

    Thanks!
     
  2. chalee94

    chalee94 <font color=green>I thought all sand was ground up

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    you might have also lost the $800 (married) making work pay credit that we had the last 2 years...that could be part of it.
     
  3. happygirl

    happygirl DIS Veteran

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    Ours was down about 2.000 from last year.
     
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  5. Cheshire Figment

    Cheshire Figment <font color=red><marquee behavior=alternate>Friend

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    Based on what you said, your Taxable Income will have gone up by $8,000. If you are completely in the 15% bracket that would account for $1,200 difference. Also, the withholding tables change each year, which could account for more of the difference.

    I will always do a line by line comparison for my clients when the numbers change significantly to see if there is a logical reason.

    Mike (CPA)
     
  6. hopemax

    hopemax Note to Self:

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    Federal 2011 tax tables are the same as in 2010. So difference in a return would come either from tax owed (increased income, decreased deductions) or tax already paid (paycheck deduction).

    Pull out your 2010 tax return and compare the boxes with

    Taxable income (adjusted gross - deductions)
    Total credits (like child care, education)
    Total payments (this is where what you've already paid shows up)

    Also, looking at the tax table just a 10,000 difference in taxable income, from say 60,000 to 70,000 = $1602 difference in tax owed for married filing jointly. $1600 is 16% of $10,000 so that is what you would expect.

    So if your income increased $5000, and you had $5000 less in deductions, that would do it.
     
  7. Crazy4Disney06

    Crazy4Disney06 DIS Veteran

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    Are you sure about the child tax credit? We did ours with H&R block and they accepted our return already and we got $1000 credit per child.
     
  8. BubMunkeyBles

    BubMunkeyBles DIS Veteran

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    I think ours would have been about the same but it's a lot more since DH got a military bonus and we way overpaid the taxes on it for our income level.
     
  9. BrerMama

    BrerMama DIS Veteran

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    Our refund was $1000 less, but our income went up $10000 and our oldest child turned 17 (child credit is only 16 and under). I figure the extra income was worth the reduced refund. We put three times that much in savings, so I'm not complaining.
     
  10. njmomtoone

    njmomtoone Mouseketeer

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    Yes, it showed $1000 on last years return and $800 this years.
     
  11. Mickeyluver37

    Mickeyluver37 Currently Disney Deprived

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    While your income may not have changed by much, it has changed enough to get you over the $110,000 threshold where the Child Tax Credit starts to phase out. You have to deduct $50 from your credit for every $1,000 you make over $110,000. So, if your income was $114,000, you got $800 in child tax credits. You say your income only went up $5,000, but at $109,000 you were still eligible for the full credit.
     
  12. Mickeyluver37

    Mickeyluver37 Currently Disney Deprived

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    For the first time EVER in our 15 years of marriage, we not only aren't getting a decent refund, but we are paying in. I'm still weighing our options of contributing to IRA's before April 17th, 2012, but otherwise, that's the day I'll be filing our taxes. They are already done and ready to go, but I'm obviously in no hurry this year! Our income did go up significantly because I went back to work at the end of 2010. Guess I should feel blessed that our income level has increased, but it sure does suck to have to pay the IRS!
     
  13. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

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    If it makes you feel better....go to a "what percentage are you" site (there are several). Type in your husbands income only. Then type in your combined income. I'm having this discussion somewhere else. You'll probably feel a lot better about paying in - then go change your withholding so you don't have the same unpleasant feeling.
     
  14. Swimalie

    Swimalie DIS Veteran

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    We just did ours today through Turbo Tax and it was $1000 for our one child.
     
  15. mom2alix

    mom2alix <font color=teal>I know he is always on my side<br

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    Take a look at Line 51 (Child Tax Credit) and Line 65 (Additional Child Tax Credit). The Child Tax Credit is a non-refundable credit (you can't get back more than you owe in taxes). For a lot of taxpayers, however, the remainder of that $1000 potential credit may become a refundable credit, the Additional Child Tax Credit which will appear on Line 65 in the Payments section of your 1040. There are income limits, but for a lot of taxpayers if you see less than $1000 per child on line 52, check line 65. Usually when you add those 2 lines together it'll equal $1000 per child. HTH!
     
  16. justakrazymom

    justakrazymom DIS Veteran

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    We made $11,000 LESS this past year but lost our oldest ( he turned 17) for the credit..so we ended up with less of a refund.. oh well.. still more than I paid in so.
     
  17. amcnj

    amcnj DIS Veteran

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    Some possible factors:

    -The extra income pushed you into a higher bracket and thus the tax rate is higher on that money

    -The extra income was non-wage income so was not taxed when earned

    -The $3000 less mortgage interest (figure the tax rate on your "last" dollars earned and see the effect of having this $3000 less in deductions)

    -The child tax credit change you already identified
     
  18. njmomtoone

    njmomtoone Mouseketeer

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    I checked box 51 and it says $800 and box 65 says 0.

    I double checked last years and box 51 and it's 1000 and box 65 is 0.
     
  19. Jeff_G

    Jeff_G Mouseketeer

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    The child tax credit is phased out as your income increases...

    Per IRS:

    The credit is limited if your modified adjusted gross income is above a certain amount. The amount at which this phase-out begins varies depending on your filing status. For married taxpayers filing a joint return, the phase-out begins at $110,000. For married taxpayers filing a separate return, it begins at $55,000. For all other taxpayers, the phase-out begins at $75,000. In addition, the Child Tax Credit is generally limited by the amount of the income tax you owe as well as any alternative minimum tax you owe.

    http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=106182,00.html
     
  20. kdkbrebel

    kdkbrebel DIS Veteran

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    I hate to jump in here but I was wondering if any of you could answer these tax questions for me.

    Does the 1098T increase your refund? We paid a little over 7,000 on tuition.

    Also how does medical expenses work? I was diagnosed with MS this past May and spent over 19 days in hospital all together. We had paid about 13,500 out in medical expenses. Will that help at all?

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  21. HelenePA

    HelenePA <font color=red>I could use a cupcake now<br><font

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    I can't speak for anyone else but the t1098 increased our refund by a lot. We paid in just under 7k in tuition (dh was only there for one semester last year this year he'll be there for both)

    can't help you with medical I know your going to have to itemize to take that deduction and we use the standard deduction so I have no idea how that all works.
     

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