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Author Topic: Dems and Tax Refunds  (Read 682 times)
Ben
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« on: February 11, 2019, 02:50:33 PM »

Dems are playing hard on the statistic out today - that average tax returns are down like 8%. THE REPUBLICANS SCREWED YOU MIDDLE CLASS! YOU'RE GETTING LESS MONEY BACK AT THE END OF THE YEAR!

Never mind that people have been having less money deducted per paycheck all year, which is why there is less tax overpayment to refund now. Yet people are eating this headline up.

Once again, I SO wish we could make people write one check to the IRS per year with their entire tax burden so they could see how this stuff works, and realize that the gov is using their money interest free all year.

https://twitchy.com/dougp-3137/2019/02/11/twist-that-narrative-kamala-harris-is-saying-this-is-proof-trump-gop-raised-taxes-on-the-middle-class/
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sumpnz
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 05:21:17 PM »

Just sent my return in.  $2580 refund coming.  About $1000 more than last year unfortunately.

Already submitted a new W-4.  Withholding dropped $60 bi-weekly.  That should about dial it in for a <$500 refund next time.  I'll be recalculating at some point to make sure.
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 05:35:42 PM »

Once again, I SO wish we could make people write one check to the IRS per year with their entire tax burden so they could see how this stuff works, and realize that the gov is using their money interest free all year.

... on Election Day.  Combine the 1040 with the ballot and submit both at the same time.

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RoadKingLarry
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 06:29:21 PM »

... on Election Day.  Combine the 1040 with the ballot and submit both at the same time.



Day before election day, give folks time to stew on it. Besides most poll workers I've seen don't need the extra hassle.

I haven't put the pencil to mine yet. With my forced transfer and moving to day shift I made $15K less in 2018 than I did in 2017. Maybe I'll make out a little better but I usually get around $400-500 back from Fed and pay close to that in state.
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 06:39:15 PM »

I tightened my witholding way down this year to make my refund smaller, but I still ended up getting a refund about the same as before. First world problems.
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Firethorn
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 06:47:25 PM »

Ended up making a post on another forum explaining this to them.

Refund of $x means that you gave an interest free loan to Uncle Sugar for $x over the year.

Having to pay $x, as long as you stay out of the penalty ranges, means you got the loan.

Which is better for you?
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sumpnz
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 07:12:03 PM »

What is the penalty range?  I assume it's some percentage of AGI.
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Ben
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 07:24:11 PM »

What is the penalty range?  I assume it's some percentage of AGI.

I can't remember, but it enraged me when I learned about it. My CPA has had me on estimated taxes ever since I retired to keep me out of the penalty box.

IT'S MY *expletive deleted*ing MONEY!!!! As long as  I pay what I owe on 15APR, why should the government care? They can penalize me if I fail to pay on the due date. Instead, they collect money from me throughout the year so they can use it instead of me.

This year is going to be somewhat infuriating, because with all the changes I made, I expect to get a good chunk of it back now.
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Firethorn
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2019, 10:51:29 PM »

What is the penalty range?  I assume it's some percentage of AGI.

The rules are complex, consult an accountant familiar with tax law.  There is indeed both a percentage and a static amount.  Don't quote me on it, but for something like $500 or less they don't care even if it is your entire tax bill.

Okay, straight from the IRS:
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-waives-penalty-for-many-whose-tax-withholding-and-estimated-tax-payments-fell-short-in-2018

It's normally that you have to prepay 90% of your tax bill, or 100% of last year's.  Unless you're over $150k gross income, then it's 110% of last years (or at least 90% of this year's).

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DittoHead
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2019, 06:16:23 AM »

I can't say I'm surprised by this. At this point I don't think the majority of Americans even understand how progressive tax brackets work or what that refund actually is when they get it back. It's depressing already and with the ease of modern tax filing software (which I do appreciate) I think people will understand their own taxes even less.
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2019, 07:35:05 AM »

I've already had the discussion a number of times at work...

Did you recalculate your withholding to make sure that you'd have an appropriate amount taken out of your check?

No?

Well you're a *expletive deleted*ing dumbass. Everyone, including your employer, was telling you to recalculate your withholding when the new information was released so you could make the necessary adjustments.
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2019, 08:20:14 AM »

Ended up making a post on another forum explaining this to them.

Refund of $x means that you gave an interest free loan to Uncle Sugar for $x over the year.

Having to pay $x, as long as you stay out of the penalty ranges, means you got the loan.

Which is better for you?


Some people want government to do everything for them, including giving them unexpected windfalls, even if it was their money to begin with...
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2019, 01:56:53 PM »

We don't get nuffin! Whut a rip-off! I mean, it's not like we paid anything in and all but, it hurt mah FEELS!
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Firethorn
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2019, 02:12:07 PM »


Some people want government to do everything for them, including giving them unexpected windfalls, even if it was their money to begin with...

Hell, I know people who specifically set up their withholding so they get a big "windfall" when they file their taxes.  Why?
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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2019, 03:28:10 PM »

Hell, I know people who specifically set up their withholding so they get a big "windfall" when they file their taxes.  Why?

Why?

Because they are *expletive deleted*ing morons, that's why.
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Ben
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2019, 03:33:47 PM »

Hell, I know people who specifically set up their withholding so they get a big "windfall" when they file their taxes.  Why?

I think it's the same kind of people who can't save any money out of their paycheck on their own, don't send money to their 401K if they have one, etc. Just bad day to day money management. So when they get the "windfall", they consider it "free money" for some large purchase or vacation or something.

Kind of the same reason taxes have to be taken out of paychecks before the payee gets the check. Because otherwise probably 80% of the working population would have zero dollars in the bank to pay the IRS on 15APR.
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sumpnz
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2019, 03:40:18 PM »

Kind of the same reason taxes have to be taken out of paychecks before the payee gets the check. Because otherwise probably 80% of the working population would have zero dollars in the bank to pay the IRS on 15APR.

All the more reason to make people cut a single check each year for their tax liability.  The more it shocks them, and puts them in a tight spot (if they can't seem to think ahead at least) the better.
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sumpnz
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2019, 03:44:05 PM »

Oh yeah, and you should have to write separate checks for federal income tax, social security tax, Medicare and Medicaid tax, capital gains tax, state income tax (if any), etc.  Know how much you are paying for all of those "services". 
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zahc
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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2019, 07:50:50 PM »

Why?

Because they are *expletive deleted*ing morons, that's why.

I have known non-moronic people who do that as a way to save more money and "stealth save" space in their budget. I admit that I've been getting $2k-$4k refunds for the past few years and haven't been really torn up about it, especially since interest rates have been so low anyway. I typically give myself $500 or so and put the rest in my Roth or something.
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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2019, 06:42:57 AM »

I can't say I'm surprised by this. At this point I don't think the majority of Americans even understand how progressive tax brackets work or what that refund actually is when they get it back. It's depressing already and with the ease of modern tax filing software (which I do appreciate) I think people will understand their own taxes even less.

We seem to have reached a point where, if you actually try to do it yourself, instead of using a computer program, people look at you as if you were trying to fly a 747 without any training.

I wonder if, just maybe, our tax system needs some simplification.

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« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2019, 09:16:29 AM »

I just listened to a talking head on NBC this morning bemoaning the fact that the people got screwed because the refund went down.  Not one word about how 52 paychecks were increased by an amount X 52 + the lower refund actually had put more money in the pocket of the poor screwed taxpayer.

As for me, I got about 10 bucks a month more in my pension check because of the withholding calculation changed.  That's $120.00 per year.  I lowered my federal withholding from from the mandatory over age 70 withdrawal from my IRA from 15% to 10%.    That was $750.00 in my pocket over the year.  My refund from the IRS was $1000.00 more than last year.   

So this poor screwed middle class person put $1,870 more in my pocked instead of Uncle Sam's.  I wish the MSM would eat *expletive deleted*it and die.
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« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2019, 01:01:41 PM »

I spend my days explaining to people that while their $2,000 refund from last went down to $1500 this year, their tax rate went down, their withholding was less, so they got $2000 more in their paychecks over the course of a year, so they actually got $1500 MORE back (some during the year and the balance at the end).  Most people "get it".  There are some that still can't grasp why their refund is lower, and so I start all over again.
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Firethorn
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« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2019, 01:29:47 PM »

I think it's the same kind of people who can't save any money out of their paycheck on their own, don't send money to their 401K if they have one, etc. Just bad day to day money management. So when they get the "windfall", they consider it "free money" for some large purchase or vacation or something.

A lot of these people were military, USAF to be specific, because I was being a volunteer in the tax program(doing people's taxes for free) on base when I was in.

As such, I KNOW that if they were that bad at control, and were looking to save for retirement, that it's ONE form to set up direct payment to the TSP program as a deduction from their pay.  I have literally ZERO problems with that, think it's good.  I varied between 10 and 20% into the TSP during my career, starting from the moment it became available.

Hell, I advised a few airmen to not file their taxes quite yet, telling them that if they opened an IRA, Roth or not, they could make a first year 50% gain on any retirement investment due to the retirement savings credit.  Sadly, most didn't take me up on it.

I'm thinking that, given my exposure to stuff, that congress is losing much of its ability to "incentivise" people to do "good things" like save for retirement through tax incentives because taxes are becoming more and more of a black box.  People can't alter their behavior to get the incentive, be it deduction or credit, if they don't know about it.

I'm still sad that as a full time student, I'm ineligible for the retirement savings credit.  I think that it'd be a good thing to allow college students to invest and use it for the chance to positively affect behavior AFTER college.  IE they already have that IRA, might as well keep investing into it.  The biggest cliff I've seen is getting the account initially set up.
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Ben
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« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2019, 01:34:12 PM »

to set up direct payment to the TSP program as a deduction from their pay.  I have literally ZERO problems with that, think it's good. 

Heck, especially with the TSP at that first 5% 100/50 match, I mean it's FREE money. But people still didn't get that. I worked with well-educated people who couldn't grasp that if nothing else, at least do the 3% for the 100% match and double your money.
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Ben
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« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2019, 10:51:03 AM »

So this is a thing. H&R Block sent its employees to "empathy training" to help customers that are upset with their "because Trump" smaller year-end refunds.

Quote
H&R Block agents took Ĺempathy trainingĺ to handle people upset by smaller tax refunds or surprise tax bills

Accountants are investing in customer service as the average tax refund has dropped 8% and 4.6 million people are expected to owe money this year.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/more-than-44-of-americans-pay-no-federal-income-tax-and-dont-worry-if-you-missed-the-recent-stock-market-rally-2019-02-15
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