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TaxCut W-4 Worksheet - Oops
Old 04-01-2007, 12:01 PM   #1
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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. 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...
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Re: TaxCut W-4 Worksheet - Oops
Old 04-01-2007, 12:27 PM   #2
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Re: TaxCut W-4 Worksheet - Oops

I use a simpler calculator. I look at my previous year's tax return. I take the tax on that and divide by 24. I pay that much tax each paycheck. I may owe more or less than that, but usually not much. I don't tell HR how many allowances or any of that; I tell them a number. It's pretty trivial and does not involve forms, worksheets, software or thinking.
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Re: TaxCut W-4 Worksheet - Oops
Old 04-01-2007, 11:25 PM   #3
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Re: TaxCut W-4 Worksheet - Oops

I used the government worksheets... there's even an Excel spreadsheet you can stick your numbers into. Then whatever it tells me, I add 1.
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