It’s already Febuary, so most people have received their tax documents by now. There may be a few stragglers, especially from investment companies, but most of us have everything we need to start thinking about taxes. So, if you’ve started to compile your information, what’s this year look like for you? Are you going to get a nice sized refund this year, or are you stuck writing a check to the IRS?
While I haven’t sat down and fully done my taxes yet, each year I like to plug my estimated numbers into this TurboTax Free Online Estimator. It lets you plug in some of your basic income and deduction numbers to give you a ballpark estimate of what you might owe or get back as a refund. Unfortunately, I put in our numbers and was not happy with the results.
It looks like we’re going to owe yet again. It really stinks because last year my wife and I both changed our W-4 exemptions to zero, and set up quarterly estimated taxes. Based on what I thought was a pretty good estimate, I figured the estimated payments would have put us pretty close to breaking even, or giving us a small refund. That certainly doesn’t seem to be the case. The tax code sure isn’t very friendly to dual income households with no kids, plus self-employment income, and a mortgage so small the interest doesn’t even meet the standard deduction amount. Thankfully, we have a child on the way so our 2009 taxes will get a little better.
But what about you? Expecting a refund, or will you owe? If you’re getting a refund, will you be stimulating the economy and spend it on something, or does it go right into a savings or retirement account?
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.