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Average amount I should get back on taxes?

 
 
Bruce
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      02-15-2004, 05:22 AM
I live in Califronia, I am married with one child and gross
income is 100,000 and I paid 17,000 in mortage and 5000 in
real estate taxes, and I am only getting back $3000, does
this seem right or am I doing something wrong. Any help or
suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Bruce

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Phil Marti
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      02-16-2004, 07:29 PM
(Bruce) writes:

> I live in Califronia, I am married with one child and gross
> income is 100,000 and I paid 17,000 in mortage and 5000 in
> real estate taxes, and I am only getting back $3000, does
> this seem right or am I doing something wrong.


IMO you're giving the government an interest-free loan of
$3,000; that's what's wrong. I suggest you go through the
worksheets on the W-4 carefully and revise your W-4 so that
less will be withheld and you'll have a small refund or
balance due when you file.

In answer to the question you were really asking, there's no
"right" amount of refund except what preparing the return
shows. If you'd like us to double check your return prep,
tell us what lines 35 37 39 41 and 49 of the 1040 were.

Phil Marti
Topeka, KS

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Jonathan Kamens
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      02-16-2004, 07:50 PM
(Bruce) writes:

> I live in Califronia, I am married with one child and gross
> income is 100,000 and I paid 17,000 in mortage and 5000 in
> real estate taxes, and I am only getting back $3000, does
> this seem right or am I doing something wrong. Any help or
> suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


You're definitely doing something wrong -- $3,000 is way TOO
MUCH for you to be "getting back."

The number you should be concerned with is not the size of
your refund but rather the total tax due. Your goal each
year should be to adjust your withholding and/or estimated
taxes so that when it's time to file your taxes, you OWE a
little bit. If you get back a big refund, all that means is
that you've let the government use your money all year
without paying you any interest on it.

Any competent tax preparer, or any of the tax-preparation
software packages, should be able to help you determine how
many exemptions to claim on your W-4, based on your
anticipated tax for the year, to avoid over-withholding.
Also, you can and should adjust your withholding during the
year if your circumstances change, increasing your
exemptions if you believe you'll owe less than previously
expected or decreasing them if you believe you'll owe more.

Incidentally, the amount you paid in mortgage is not
relevant; what's relevant is how much of it was interest,
since only the interest is deductible.

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Wcm7315
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      02-16-2004, 07:50 PM
> I live in Califronia, I am married with one child and gross
> income is 100,000 and I paid 17,000 in mortage and 5000 in
> real estate taxes, and I am only getting back $3000, does
> this seem right or am I doing something wrong.


Bruce, you seem to be forgetting the most important thing
about refunds. The refund is determined by the AMOUNT OF TAX
WITHHELD from your pay. Your deductions are irrelevant. If
you had $1000 in federal withholding (look at your W2), you
would probably OWE a lot. If you had $50,000 in federal
withholding, you'd get a heck of a big refund. The idea is
to reach a balance, so you don't owe a lot and NOT get a
large refund, thereby maximizing your paycheck.

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Ed J
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      02-16-2004, 08:09 PM
"Bruce" <> wrote:

> I live in Califronia, I am married with one child and gross
> income is 100,000 and I paid 17,000 in mortage and 5000 in
> real estate taxes, and I am only getting back $3000, does
> this seem right or am I doing something wrong. Any help or
> suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


You're joking, right....... Obiously, the amount you get
back in a refund depends on how much you had withheld or
paid in Estimated tax.

Ed J

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Frank S. Duke, Jr.
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      02-16-2004, 08:29 PM
> I live in Califronia, I am married with one child and gross
> income is 100,000 and I paid 17,000 in mortage and 5000 in
> real estate taxes, and I am only getting back $3000, does
> this seem right or am I doing something wrong. Any help or
> suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


This is a question with no answer. Go see a tax preparer
who can look at all the facts an circumstances. You are
asking us to determine the age and the weight of an elephant
from a small photograph.

All freely provided advice guarantee correct or double your
money back

Frank S. Duke, Jr. CPA
Cincinnati, OH USA

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Victor Roberts
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      02-16-2004, 08:29 PM
(Bruce) wrote:

> I live in Califronia, I am married with one child and gross
> income is 100,000 and I paid 17,000 in mortage and 5000 in
> real estate taxes, and I am only getting back $3000, does
> this seem right or am I doing something wrong. Any help or
> suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


There is no "average". Your refund depends on a lot of
factors you have not provided, one major one being how much
Federal Income Tax was withheld from your gross pay. Under
"perfect" circumstances, you would get nothing back because
the tax withheld would be equal to your tax liability.

--
Vic Roberts

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Harlan Lunsford
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      02-16-2004, 08:49 PM
Bruce wrote:

> I live in Califronia, I am married with one child and gross
> income is 100,000 and I paid 17,000 in mortage and 5000 in
> real estate taxes, and I am only getting back $3000, does
> this seem right or am I doing something wrong. Any help or
> suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


Doing something wrong....... yes.

You're having entirely too much withheld from your pay every
week/two weeks/month, whatever.

Why lend Uncle Sam that money interest free?

My three cents worth.

Cheer$,
Harlan Lunsford, EA n LA

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Barry Margolin
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      02-16-2004, 09:28 PM
(Bruce) wrote:

> I live in Califronia, I am married with one child and gross
> income is 100,000 and I paid 17,000 in mortage and 5000 in
> real estate taxes, and I am only getting back $3000, does
> this seem right or am I doing something wrong. Any help or
> suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


The amount of your refund is the difference between what you
had withheld and your actual tax liability. Someone might
be able to estimate the latter from the information you've
given, but without knowing how much withholding you had it's
impossible to guess what your refund will be.

--
Barry Margolin,
Arlington, MA

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shagnasty
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      02-16-2004, 10:07 PM
"Bruce" <> wrote:

> I live in Califronia, I am married with one child and gross
> income is 100,000 and I paid 17,000 in mortage and 5000 in
> real estate taxes, and I am only getting back $3000, does
> this seem right or am I doing something wrong. Any help or
> suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


It depends a lot on the amount of tax you had withheld or
paid in on estimates. If you paid very little you could owe
tax after all deductions. If you paid far too much, you
should be getting a big refund.

You can't just look at deductions. You can only get part of
what you paid in back and the more you pay the more you can
get back. Paying too much is loaning the govt the money
interest free.

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