TaxCut W-4 Worksheet - Oops
Disclaimer: I do my own taxes. I pay my $39, and point and click. That is the extent of my tax expertise. And as will become obvious once you read the following, I should probably reconsider my cheap ways.
Last year after doing my taxes, I ended up with my usual $3-5K refund. Yeah, yeah...I know, but I tried to do something about it so I wouldn't float a 0% loan to Uncle Sam again this year.
After completing my taxes last year with TaxCut, I decided to use their W-4 worksheet to adjust my and my wife's deductions. Supposedly, it takes all the numbers you just entered on your return, and spits out W-4 numbers that should get one within a few hundred clams +/- at the end of the following year.
So...I put off completing my taxes this year, not thinking I'd have a significant refund, and might even owe a bit. Surprise - I was greeted with a $13K+ refund. Huh?
Best I can tell, the TaxCut W-4 Worksheet isn't smart enough to realize some of us can contribute more than $15K each to pre-tax plans - we have 401k's, 401a's, and 457b's. Even though last year's return was adjusted for these higher amounts, the W-4 worksheet calculator appears to disregard these adjustments, and only allowed $15K/person when considering pre-tax income. So...it treated a very large portion of our pay as ordinary income that it shouldn't have, and crunched the W-4 numbers accordingly.
I've no idea if this year's W-4 calculator has modified its behavior, but heads up if the above situation applies to you...