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casinterest
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Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:30 am

Tax Time 2017

Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:01 am

I finally finished my 2016 taxes. I get a refund this year.

How did everyone else do?

Did it turn out better or worse than you though?

Any great deductions?
Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
 
ltbewr
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Re: Tax Time 2017

Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:15 am

I did ok, but only by my medical deductions and IRA contribution. My refund partially paid for the IRA contribution.
Many will get screwed and have to pay additional taxes due to a jump in income or not allocating enough in payroll deductions to pay expected taxes.
On Saturday the 15th, there is supposed to be protests in places in the USA to demand President Trump * show his Income Tax Returns for years.
This year, as the 15th, the day normally when taxes are due - but as a Saturday, can't have Sunday as the due date and Monday is a local DC holiday, the true due date is Tuesday, the 18th.
 
einsteinboricua
Posts: 5312
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:11 pm

Re: Tax Time 2017

Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:34 am

First time paying Uncle Sam (all other years I got a hefty refund).

Aunty Missouri also requested some money from a paycheck at the beginning of the year before I moved (a very staggering $18).

Aunty Maryland, however, surprised me and refunded me a lot more than I was expecting.

Thank you HSA and 401k contributions.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
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Aesma
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Re: Tax Time 2017

Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:38 am

In France it's also time, however we don't pay anything through the paycheck, so there is no refund. Some people might get a tax credit. Starting next year (barring any change made by the next president) we will join most countries and pay through the paycheck. People (including me) are wary of their employer guessing their secondary income or the one of their spouse so we will be able to chose a "neutral" percentage of salary to be deducted, then pay the difference (or get a refund) "by hand".

I haven't done my taxes yet but it should be similar to last year as I earned about the same, and had not sold any of my stocks yet. Next year will be another story.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
B777LRF
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Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:23 am

Re: Tax Time 2017

Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:44 am

I accessed the tax authority online, reviewed the information (they have everything on file so there's really nothing for you to do other than checking) signed with my unique digital signature, and that was that. Getting the equivalent of around USD 2000 back in taxes, which is right around normal for me.

Couldn't have been easier.
From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
 
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csturdiv
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Re: Tax Time 2017

Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:22 am

As an American expat who has had no US income since 2014, I hate having to file with the IRS on nothing. Thank god I am not at the point where I can be double taxed.
An American expat from the ORD area living and working in SYD
 
fr8mech
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Re: Tax Time 2017

Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:40 am

Did my taxes back in Feb. because I had nothing better to do. Typically, I wait until this time of year to do them, since we tend to structure our tax planning around owning a few hundred dollars or so. To our surprise, a stock donation we made to our church brought us a sizable refund at both the federal and state level.

Being who I am, I took the donation out to see the effect, and found the donation was responsible for the refund. We'll look a little closer at our charitable donations, vis-a-vis stock vs. cash donations, to understand the tax implications a little better.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
 
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WingsFan
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Re: Tax Time 2017

Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:47 pm

Planet money episode 760 :Tax hero might be of interest to all who hate this cumbersome annual ritual. Its a very interesting story about quick and easy return system tried by California called 'ReadyReturn'.
 
flymia
Posts: 6890
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:33 am

Re: Tax Time 2017

Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:00 pm

Small refund instead of owing a lot, as my prior employer put me as a 1099 for the last few months of my work. But, I filed married separately to spare me a huge increase in student loan re-payment. My wife and I together would make too much money to keep my loan payments down. Unfortunately the Federal Government decides that this is a bad thing, and they penalize you and do not allow you to make any IRA contributions, or take many other deductions. I will re-do the math next year and see if its worth it.

Tax laws are ridiculous. I also don't understand why I can only put $5,500 into my IRA but someone who has a 401k can put $18,000 in. It should be $18,000 for everything. It makes zero sense. Its like the government does not want me to put money away for retirement.

Dumb laws made by dumb people.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
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OA412
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Re: Tax Time 2017

Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:16 pm

Smaller refund than I was expecting. But it didn't matter. I still owed on last year's taxes to both the Feds and Colorado, so both refunds went toward my outstanding balance.
Hughes Airwest - Top Banana In The West
 
einsteinboricua
Posts: 5312
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:11 pm

Re: Tax Time 2017

Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:37 pm

flymia wrote:
I also don't understand why I can only put $5,500 into my IRA but someone who has a 401k can put $18,000 in. It should be $18,000 for everything. It makes zero sense. Its like the government does not want me to put money away for retirement.

Dumb laws made by dumb people.


Google works wonders: Investopedia

Investopedia wrote:
Contributions to IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k) and other retirement savings plans are limited by the IRS to prevent the very wealthy from benefiting more than the average worker.

Contributions to traditional IRA and 401(k) accounts are made with pretax dollars, so they can offer a significant reduction to a worker's annual income tax burden. The contributions to many retirement savings accounts are capped to ensure that those who can afford to defer large amounts of their compensation do not take advantage of this tax benefit.


In other words, it's to ensure that it remains a tax credit for middle class, not the upper one. If you earn more than $133,000 a year, you can't contribute to a Roth IRA ($118,000 for a traditional IRA) and obviously, if you earn above this, the 401k is your option, though maxing out at $18,000/year will be a blip compared to what you probably earn (in other words, if you earn well over $150,000/yr, chances are you have several venues to park money for retirement besides a 401k).
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
DfwRevolution
Posts: 8797
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: Tax Time 2017

Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:00 am

einsteinboricua wrote:
First time paying Uncle Sam (all other years I got a hefty refund).


You were paying Uncle Sam in those years you got a refund, too. ;)

flymia wrote:
Tax laws are ridiculous. I also don't understand why I can only put $5,500 into my IRA but someone who has a 401k can put $18,000 in. It should be $18,000 for everything. It makes zero sense. Its like the government does not want me to put money away for retirement.


1. Yes, they are.
2. It's arbitrary. I would hypothesize that 401K limits are higher because they form such an integral part of the compensation structure for many employees, much like health insurance.
3. If you're employer doesn't offer a 401K or equivalent, then maybe contemplate a new employer. The 401K just gives your compensation better tax treatment. If you're compensation is poor, then you've got bigger problems.
4. If the government didn't want you to save for retirement, then they wouldn't offer the IRA or Roth IRA. Consider using an HSA to stash more money into mutual funds. Or, just invest in a brokerage account. There are plenty of tax efficient mutual funds out there.
 
einsteinboricua
Posts: 5312
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:11 pm

Re: Tax Time 2017

Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:29 am

DfwRevolution wrote:
einsteinboricua wrote:
First time paying Uncle Sam (all other years I got a hefty refund).


You were paying Uncle Sam in those years you got a refund, too. ;)

I know. I meant in terms of tax returns. I was still short and ended up paying.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
flymia
Posts: 6890
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:33 am

Re: Tax Time 2017

Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:32 pm

einsteinboricua wrote:
flymia wrote:
I also don't understand why I can only put $5,500 into my IRA but someone who has a 401k can put $18,000 in. It should be $18,000 for everything. It makes zero sense. Its like the government does not want me to put money away for retirement.

Dumb laws made by dumb people.


Google works wonders: Investopedia

Investopedia wrote:
Contributions to IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k) and other retirement savings plans are limited by the IRS to prevent the very wealthy from benefiting more than the average worker.

Contributions to traditional IRA and 401(k) accounts are made with pretax dollars, so they can offer a significant reduction to a worker's annual income tax burden. The contributions to many retirement savings accounts are capped to ensure that those who can afford to defer large amounts of their compensation do not take advantage of this tax benefit.


In other words, it's to ensure that it remains a tax credit for middle class, not the upper one. If you earn more than $133,000 a year, you can't contribute to a Roth IRA ($118,000 for a traditional IRA) and obviously, if you earn above this, the 401k is your option, though maxing out at $18,000/year will be a blip compared to what you probably earn (in other words, if you earn well over $150,000/yr, chances are you have several venues to park money for retirement besides a 401k).


Still makes no sense to me. First off, the cap for a family income for a Roth is around $188k, which is a great income, but far from swimming in money, especially in larger cities with high COL. My wife and I make over $165k a year together and we are far from living the dream. Don't get me wrong, we don't struggle at all, but with student debt (only me thankfully) the price of housing, insurance, and one day kids, we need to make even more than that to live and be able to start saving a decent amount for retirement.

Also, the limits with the Roth IRA and making sure money is taxed does not make sense to me. Yes, the money put away into a Roth won't be taxed when I take it out, but, its being taxed now. I don't see why anyone, no matter how much they make should not be allowed to put $5,500.00 away in a Roth IRA, no matter their income or tax filing situation. For the wealthy its a blip, but for the middle and even lower upper class its a big difference for the future, Its just counter-productive to society and giving people LESS options for retirement.

I am more frustrated that I was not able to put a dime into any IRA given my married filed separately issue, but I guess they want to penalize you for trying to hide income? The reason I am doing it is only because student loan payments are solely based off tax returns, not income.

DfwRevolution wrote:
einsteinboricua wrote:
First time paying Uncle Sam (all other years I got a hefty refund).


You were paying Uncle Sam in those years you got a refund, too. ;)

flymia wrote:
Tax laws are ridiculous. I also don't understand why I can only put $5,500 into my IRA but someone who has a 401k can put $18,000 in. It should be $18,000 for everything. It makes zero sense. Its like the government does not want me to put money away for retirement.


1. Yes, they are.
2. It's arbitrary. I would hypothesize that 401K limits are higher because they form such an integral part of the compensation structure for many employees, much like health insurance.
3. If you're employer doesn't offer a 401K or equivalent, then maybe contemplate a new employer. The 401K just gives your compensation better tax treatment. If you're compensation is poor, then you've got bigger problems.
4. If the government didn't want you to save for retirement, then they wouldn't offer the IRA or Roth IRA. Consider using an HSA to stash more money into mutual funds. Or, just invest in a brokerage account. There are plenty of tax efficient mutual funds out there.


I work for a small law firm, three-four attorneys, 3-4 support staff, I make a decent salary, and have even better income potential with my own clients, I am sure plenty of people work in smaller places that don't offer 401k plans. That is my point, its penalizes people who don't work for a place that does not have a 401k. Why not just make a general $18k cap instead of giving larger employers more benefits, and hurting those who don't work for the type of place that offer a 401k. And yes, I do invest into a brokerage account, which the difference between that and a 401k is the money going in is taxed, and will be taxed after too. At least with a 401k you get some tax benefit to start with.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
DfwRevolution
Posts: 8797
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: Tax Time 2017

Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:48 pm

flymia wrote:
Still makes no sense to me.


That's because it doesn't make sense. It's pointless to beat yourself up trying to make sense of a patchwork of rules written by peoples with all sorts of conflicting interests.

flymia wrote:
First off, the cap for a family income for a Roth is around $188k, which is a great income, but far from swimming in money, especially in larger cities with high COL. My wife and I make over $165k a year together and we are far from living the dream. Don't get me wrong, we don't struggle at all, but with student debt (only me thankfully) the price of housing, insurance, and one day kids, we need to make even more than that to live and be able to start saving a decent amount for retirement.


Please don't take this personally, but your spending priorities sound seriously out of whack.

If you have two income earners, total income over $165K, no kids, and you haven't started saving "a decent amount" for retirement, then when will you? It's only going to get harder. If saving for retirement is important to you, then deduct your retirement contribution from your income and then budget your standard of living on what remains. Can you really say that you wouldn't have made ends meet if your combine income had been $155K last year?

My wife and I earn somewhat less income than you. We live in Los Angeles CA, so our taxes and rent are crazy high. We finally paid-off our student loans last year. And we also contributed about 20% of our income to retirement accounts last year. We have lived - since college - on about 80% of our post-tax income. It absolutely requires you to accept a lower material standard of living today, but that's a compromise we're willing to make.

flymia wrote:
I am more frustrated that I was not able to put a dime into any IRA given my married filed separately issue, but I guess they want to penalize you for trying to hide income?


From what you said above, you chose married-filing-single because your prioritized a lower student loan repayment schedule today. Fair enough. That comes at the cost of more favorable tax treatment of your retirement income later. Which one is more important to you?

flymia wrote:
I work for a small law firm, three-four attorneys, 3-4 support staff, I make a decent salary, and have even better income potential with my own clients, I am sure plenty of people work in smaller places that don't offer 401k plans. That is my point, its penalizes people who don't work for a place that does not have a 401k. Why not just make a general $18k cap instead of giving larger employers more benefits, and hurting those who don't work for the type of place that offer a 401k. And yes, I do invest into a brokerage account, which the difference between that and a 401k is the money going in is taxed, and will be taxed after too. At least with a 401k you get some tax benefit to start with.


Have you asked your firm to establish a SEP IRA? That sounds like a potential opportunity for your situation.

The 401K is just another form of employee compensation like a pension, medical insurance, bonus pool, car program, etc., all of which have varying tax treatment. It's backwards to call something a "penalty" just because it isn't a component of your compensation.
 
flymia
Posts: 6890
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:33 am

Re: Tax Time 2017

Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:05 pm

DfwRevolution wrote:
flymia wrote:
Still makes no sense to me.


That's because it doesn't make sense. It's pointless to beat yourself up trying to make sense of a patchwork of rules written by peoples with all sorts of conflicting interests.

flymia wrote:
First off, the cap for a family income for a Roth is around $188k, which is a great income, but far from swimming in money, especially in larger cities with high COL. My wife and I make over $165k a year together and we are far from living the dream. Don't get me wrong, we don't struggle at all, but with student debt (only me thankfully) the price of housing, insurance, and one day kids, we need to make even more than that to live and be able to start saving a decent amount for retirement.


Please don't take this personally, but your spending priorities sound seriously out of whack.

If you have two income earners, total income over $165K, no kids, and you haven't started saving "a decent amount" for retirement, then when will you? It's only going to get harder. If saving for retirement is important to you, then deduct your retirement contribution from your income and then budget your standard of living on what remains. Can you really say that you wouldn't have made ends meet if your combine income had been $155K last year?

My wife and I earn somewhat less income than you. We live in Los Angeles CA, so our taxes and rent are crazy high. We finally paid-off our student loans last year. And we also contributed about 20% of our income to retirement accounts last year. We have lived - since college - on about 80% of our post-tax income. It absolutely requires you to accept a lower material standard of living today, but that's a compromise we're willing to make.

flymia wrote:
I am more frustrated that I was not able to put a dime into any IRA given my married filed separately issue, but I guess they want to penalize you for trying to hide income?


From what you said above, you chose married-filing-single because your prioritized a lower student loan repayment schedule today. Fair enough. That comes at the cost of more favorable tax treatment of your retirement income later. Which one is more important to you?

flymia wrote:
I work for a small law firm, three-four attorneys, 3-4 support staff, I make a decent salary, and have even better income potential with my own clients, I am sure plenty of people work in smaller places that don't offer 401k plans. That is my point, its penalizes people who don't work for a place that does not have a 401k. Why not just make a general $18k cap instead of giving larger employers more benefits, and hurting those who don't work for the type of place that offer a 401k. And yes, I do invest into a brokerage account, which the difference between that and a 401k is the money going in is taxed, and will be taxed after too. At least with a 401k you get some tax benefit to start with.


Have you asked your firm to establish a SEP IRA? That sounds like a potential opportunity for your situation.

The 401K is just another form of employee compensation like a pension, medical insurance, bonus pool, car program, etc., all of which have varying tax treatment. It's backwards to call something a "penalty" just because it isn't a component of your compensation.


Guess it depends what the definition of decent amount is. My wife works for the federal government, so she is saving for retirement through a fund and pension. I, at the minimum put away $7,500 a year usually a little more towards retirement. We are both still in our 20s. I mention this with also trying to save to purchase a home, as well, it seems that without more income, owning a home, having kids, continuing to pay off loans will make it difficult to save more unless there is a good increase in salary, which hopefully will happen, but nothing is guaranteed.

Prior to next April I am going to have to sit down with my accountant friend and get the numbers down on which way to go. And yes, I need to ask the boss about the SEP IRA.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
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FriscoHeavy
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Re: Tax Time 2017

Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:24 pm

Cut a check on Thursday to the KGB....I mean IRS for $2,818.

Hardest check to write every year.
FriscoHeavy
 
ACDC8
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Re: Tax Time 2017

Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:37 pm

As always, getting a refund - 4 digits as usual, in the mid-range. Its always like a yearly bonus for me, so I just splurge with it.
A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
 
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FriscoHeavy
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 4:31 pm

Re: Tax Time 2017

Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:40 pm

ACDC8 wrote:
As always, getting a refund - 4 digits as usual, in the mid-range. Its always like a yearly bonus for me, so I just splurge with it.



Why do you choose to give the government an interest free loan every year? Adjust your W-4 and take home more pay each check.
FriscoHeavy
 
BobPatterson
Posts: 1094
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:18 am

Re: Tax Time 2017

Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:35 am

I'm pretty sure this is the first year (out of 61 years) that I have ever finished my tax forms after April 15.

Felt kind of good to be able to procrastinate more than usual :-)

Since we only have retirement annuities, social security, and modest interest on savings, it only takes 2-3 hours for me to do the work.

Being able to fill our the Federal and State tax forms on-line and then print them (I don't e-file), everything is nice and readable except for my "signature".

I actually look forward to procrastinating every year. Our refunds are modest, help pay the real estate taxes in September.
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