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Thread: My tax rant

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    Senior Member mister's Avatar
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    My tax rant

    I finished my taxes eager to see if I broke even or got a refund. Instead, I actually owe. $140 to be exact. And I pulled in less than $8k. Being a college student sucks. /Rant
    Brilliant!

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    Yeah. But it's gonna pay off when you go for sociable security. Bwahahahahahahaha!

    Yeah, I remember as a student feeling pretty dicked out of my meager earnings. But wait 'til you see what your NET earnings are on that first big job.

    Another kind of sticker shock!

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    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    To avoid sticker shock next time around, make sure your employer(s) withhold enough from your check. Generally, once you get over $5000, you're looking at the IRS keeping something. Look at your tax return. If you are claimed by your parents, you do not get an income offsetting exemption - it is always a good idea for students to get thier taxes done in conjunction with thier parents, so the parents' taxes can be figured with the student as a dependent and without the student. Depending upon the parents' income & household size, they may not really need the student as an exemption, thus clearing the way for the student to claim him/herself on the student's taxes, reducing thier taxable income. Your financial aid status has nothing to do with whether your parents claim you as an exemption or not, but earnings of over $5000 will impact your need based aid unless your parents are poor.

    Anyway, on your tax form, look at the amount of the individual exemption. Then, look at the tax table... how much over the exemption amount can you ear before tax liability kicks in? This will help you determine how much withholding you need to have, or, conversly, how much $$ you have to put into savings so you can pay the bill.

    I am NOT a tax person - I work in Student Financial Aid & see a whole lot of tax forms!!
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

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    Moto gp dokie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mister
    I finished my taxes eager to see if I broke even or got a refund. Instead, I actually owe. $140 to be exact. And I pulled in less than $8k. Being a college student sucks. /Rant
    hwo do you owe??
    ima student full time and what they tell me is that being a student you get back all your federlal tax.

    i always get all my federal back

  5. #5
    pluralis majestatis redfooj's Avatar
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    keeping ter'rists off our turf aint free....

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    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    You can claim charitable contributions for up to $500 per occurence without itemizing I believe. Take some stuff to Goodwill, Salvation Army, local charities etc and get some receipts.
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    I-M-D bell curve of bikn'
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    Wait til you have a decent paying job and pay all those taxes year round; give to charitable organizations; church; donations; and even have extra withheld and then you still owe

    I love this country!
    Ego Campana Inflectum of Circuitous

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    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dokie
    ima student full time and what they tell me is that being a student you get back all your federlal tax.

    i always get all my federal back
    It depends upon how much you make - most students don't make that much!
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

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    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    PS - What school do you attend? Spelling Doesn't Count U.?
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

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    Senior Member mister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VegaVixen
    Yeah. But it's gonna pay off when you go for sociable security. Bwahahahahahahaha!

    Yeah, I remember as a student feeling pretty dicked out of my meager earnings. But wait 'til you see what your NET earnings are on that first big job.

    Another kind of sticker shock!
    Oh, I know about the net earnings. There were years while I was in school that I worked more than I studied. Then I at least got something back at the end of the year though. The company I'm with now though has a funky way of determining your with holdings. It's all done via a computer questionaire that supposedly determines what is right for you (read: "what is right for the government" lol).
    Brilliant!

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    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    I owed the state money last year, but I've always got a pretty nice check back from the IRS.
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    The AVatar Ninja SaabFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mister
    Oh, I know about the net earnings. There were years while I was in school that I worked more than I studied. Then I at least got something back at the end of the year though. The company I'm with now though has a funky way of determining your with holdings. It's all done via a computer questionaire that supposedly determines what is right for you (read: "what is right for the government" lol).

    The final amount of tax you owe has nothing to do with withholdings. And, it actually sounds like your current situation is more favorable of the taxpayer, not the government.

    Having to pay in at the end of the year means your withholdings were lower than your tax burden, which means, essentially, that you had an interest-free loan from the government for part of the year - you should be happy.

    Getting a return, on the other hand, means that the government was getting an interest-free loan from YOU - i.e. they essentially borrowed some of YOUR money, and didn't pay you any interest for that favor.

    Think of it this way - having to pay in is, financially speaking, a better position to be in than getting a return. Which makes me question why people get so excited over getting a return in the first place - I can understand the thrill of suddenly having money, but you're losing out in the long term if you get returns year after year.
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    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    You made 8k and owed money. You need a better tax person.
    Matthew 6

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    The AVatar Ninja SaabFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngateguy
    You made 8k and owed money. You need a better tax person.
    +1. Are you a dependent on someone else's tax forms?

    Single and under 65, you don't even have to file if you made less than $8,450. With even a standard deduction (5,150 single), your total tax burden if you did file would have only been like $350 for ~8,000 of earned income. If you had *any* other deductions, credits, etc you would have pretty much owed zero. You said you're in school right now - you probably could have taken some form of educational credits on form 8863. Even as little as $1500 of tuition during 2006 would have nullified your $350 tax burden. And of course, if you had any school loans you're paying, the interest is a deduction (even without itemizing or on 1040EZ).
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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Yeah, you need to do your taxes yourself or hire a tax-attourney. HINT: itemize everything! You can deduct your tuition and books, perhaps even your housing and dorm costs. This will certainly lower your taxable income to the point where you owe nothing.

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    The AVatar Ninja SaabFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    HINT: itemize everything!
    With only $8k income, he shouldn't even have to itemize! (assuming, by "itemize," you mean 1040 Schedule A) A few obvious lines on even 1040EZ for credits and deductions would get him to zero burden.
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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Yeah, he shouldn't have to, but it's a good practice to understand the tax codes & filing procedures. I always do both and compare and the itemized return always wins hands down.

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    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    Danno - oh, would that it were true that one can deduct books, room & board. Tuition and required fees ONLY, and ONLY if you actually paid for them yourself, or with a student loan. Got a brain & some scholarship pays your tuition & fees? NO tax deduction.

    Last time I saw someone with a tax liability with a rather small income (like the OP) that was NOT claimed by their parents, the person FORGOT to deduct the standard deduction.
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

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    NYC Maggie Backstedt fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by mister
    Instead, I actually owe. $140 to be exact.... Being a college student sucks. /Rant
    I bet you can't wait until you "grow up" and have real income. Do everything right: mortgage deduction, conservative investments in tax free bonds. Get hit with AMT. Lose most of your deductions including mortgage interest, medical. Owe the IRS $9000 in AMT, despite withholding of over $40,000 (income tax alone).

    Gee. Some days I really wish I was a college student.
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    The AVatar Ninja SaabFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apclassic9
    Last time I saw someone with a tax liability with a rather small income (like the OP) that was NOT claimed by their parents, the person FORGOT to deduct the standard deduction.
    We should have the OP upload scans of all his documents to an FTP server and do his taxes for him.
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    Tom (ex)Builder twahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngateguy
    You made 8k and owed money. You need a better tax person.
    +1

    The threshhold for most single people is $8450 gross income. I don't see how you could possibly owe money if you pulled in less than 8k, you shouldn't even have to file. Except you are probably considered a dependent on your parents' return, but even then, you really ought not owe anything. Being a dependent is good for your parents at tax time, good for you the rest of the year.
    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver Wendell Holmes
    Taxes are the price we pay for civilization
    that said, you really need to go over your forms again, something
    just isn't right.
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    I play in the street. nobrainer440's Avatar
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    How much did you have withheld? Your total taxes shouldn't be more than like $100 or something with only $8k of income, so unless your withholdings were less than that, you shouldn't owe. Check your forms again.

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    I-M-D bell curve of bikn'
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    You sure that $140 was not in the you get back section and not you owe section?

    I never owed a day in my life until I got a real job making a yearly salary.
    Ego Campana Inflectum of Circuitous

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    Quote Originally Posted by mister
    I finished my taxes eager to see if I broke even or got a refund. Instead, I actually owe. $140 to be exact. And I pulled in less than $8k. Being a college student sucks. /Rant
    Have a couple kids, that might help.

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