Sticker Shock!

Been working our various paperwork through TurboTax in anticipation of filing our taxes.

For those unfamiliar with TurboTax, let me clarify a key point. As you work through the questions, a running tally in the corner lets you know how much your refund (in bright cheerful green text) or taxed due (in menacing deep scarlet) will be. Throughout the past few weeks, our refund has been hovering at around $2,000. Although it's varied plus or minus a coupla hundred bucks or so, it's always been there, staring me in the face.

Until this afternoon.

Joe brought home his W-2, and I rushed downstairs to enter it, eager to e-file our taxes and get our two grand.

What is it they say about counting one's chickens?

Apparently our various deductions (like mortgage and student loan interest) and our combined income increases (I'm now working .7 time not .5 time on the teacher salary scale.) have affected our tax situation more than I'd anticipated.

We now owe roughly $1,200, give or take a couple more pieces of data still outstanding.

Bummer. Guess we had the money all along throughout the year, rather than loaning it, interest-free, to George Bush. But still, I always did like me some tax refund.

TurboTax should hold your result in secret until you're all done and click "SHOW ME THE MONEY!" Then you aren't building up for something you're not really entitled to, yet.



Kristin said...

Ouch! I had the opposite happen. We were hovering about even, and then go to the federal review step and suddenly I noticed that it was a HUGE WHOPPING refund, and I panicked, trying to figure out what I could have possibly done last minute that would have changed it by that much. Turns out it was right, but I had to go back to the original form and instructions to verify. Ended up being a very nice surprise.

Heidi said...

Well, a few more pieces of paper came in that I wasn't expecting (I thought we paid Joe's Drexel bill after December 31, but I guess it just cleared prior to the end of the year). So now we owe about $580 federal and about $230 state. Much better. Not wonderful, but WAY better.

Jen said...

I agree with your conclusion. We owed one year because my husband's work forgot to take state taxes out at all for the entire year. Luckily, he was a student, so we owed like $300.00. I hate taxes.

Found you through PW comment.

Heidi said...

I'm Ok with paying taxes, more or less. But our jobs have never remained consistent enough year-to-year for me to really get a handle on our W-4 forms to optimize the withholding and stuff. My husband's class load changes and so his pay does, too. So it's always a big surprise every January. This year it's an unpleasant surprise.

Welcome over to my blog, by the way!