Author Topic: The official Tax Return Facepunch thread  (Read 30983 times)

brandino29

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Re: The official Tax Return Facepunch thread
« Reply #100 on: February 02, 2015, 08:08:43 PM »
In all likelihood you're probably right. But catching the attention of the IRS is something that I'm sure most people would like to avoid, even if it is for something incredibly minor.
I understand that people are afraid, mostly because of the overblown hype generated by a handful of horror stories. It's really a shame, and I'm tempted to conclude that most of the people in the horror stories deserved it. I don't have the personal knowledge to actually make that conclusion, but I've interacted with numerous IRS employees and I can say this about 100% of my calls: unless they genuinely believe that you are trying to break the law, they're generally really f'ing nice about trying to help explain the system and what they need from you.
These guys deal every day with people who cheat the system for thousands, even millions, and they're shorthanded. It's in their best interest to deal with honest mistakes quickly and efficiently, and get back to actual fraud cases.

+1.  I don't typically put much stock in stories like that because you never know how the person is handling it.  You hear a lot of horror stories about poor customer service, but in my personal experience, as long as you're being respectful, honest and forthcoming, even big, notoriously difficult companies are easy to work with.

MishMash

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Re: The official Tax Return Facepunch thread
« Reply #101 on: February 03, 2015, 06:31:39 AM »
It especially makes me shake my head when they are claiming EIC due to CZTE and non taxable BAH and an unemployed spouse, then go and blow it on crap, crap that usually ends up on a yardsale site in a couple of months.  You're welcome fellow human, MY tax dollars just bought your new toy since you literally paid nothing to the feds and got BACK money for having kids and an artificially low income. 

You're welcome fellow human, MY tax dollars


That slight only works halfway RF, hubs is AD too, Airborne amongst other tabs as well
MY tax dollars


You're welcome for your freedom.  Airborne!

That slight only halfway works RF...my husband is AD as well, Airborne and multiple other tabs, and I was AD in the past.  That doesn't stop the fact that I'm paying over 20k a year in federal taxes on MY income (not including his) to sport some kids new TV/car/binge drinking DUI (military or not), that once they can't afford formula for the kids in a couple of months will end up on craigslist.  The general financial knowledge in this country is abysmal, it's even worse in the younger military though.  They really need to say no to those "new spouse orientation" classes and start making a financial planning course mandatory on entrance to the military.  I'm a big proponent of the EITC simply going away though, or at least making it non refundable.

I'm a red panda

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Re: The official Tax Return Facepunch thread
« Reply #102 on: February 03, 2015, 07:29:58 AM »
The military has new spouse orientation classes?  I never got one of those.

zephyr911

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Re: The official Tax Return Facepunch thread
« Reply #103 on: February 03, 2015, 07:52:43 AM »
That slight only halfway works RF...my husband is AD as well, Airborne and multiple other tabs, and I was AD in the past.  That doesn't stop the fact that I'm paying over 20k a year in federal taxes on MY income (not including his) to sport some kids new TV/car/binge drinking DUI (military or not), that once they can't afford formula for the kids in a couple of months will end up on craigslist.  The general financial knowledge in this country is abysmal, it's even worse in the younger military though.  They really need to say no to those "new spouse orientation" classes and start making a financial planning course mandatory on entrance to the military.  I'm a big proponent of the EITC simply going away though, or at least making it non refundable.
Where's the "superinstamegalike" button when I need it?
I think the extremely low basic living expenses and highly secure/predictable nature of AD income make younger military people pretty blase' about incurring debt. After all, the paycheck is mostly disposable and will always be there, right? I saw it as a CGO when most of the junior enlisted members in my unit had better cars than I did (on half my take-home pay), plus $10k crotch rockets and all kinds of other toys. Nothing wrong with living well, but living beyond your means is another thing.

MishMash

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Re: The official Tax Return Facepunch thread
« Reply #104 on: February 03, 2015, 08:54:10 AM »
The military has new spouse orientation classes?  I never got one of those.

Ooooh yea they do, ACS offers them, his last post offered them weekly, they offer financial classes too.  More of those got cancelled because of no shows then the spouse orientation classes...

Sibley

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Re: The official Tax Return Facepunch thread
« Reply #105 on: February 03, 2015, 09:27:32 AM »
I'm getting a combined $2200 back. While I'm an accountant and know the math, I have a mental hangup where I absolutely hate having to write a check in April. Blame my mom for that.

Money is going to cc debt, will actually move my debt free date up a few months. The bonus in March will likely go to the same place, whatever it turns out to be.

RFAAOATB

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Re: The official Tax Return Facepunch thread
« Reply #106 on: February 03, 2015, 12:33:36 PM »
That slight only halfway works RF...my husband is AD as well, Airborne and multiple other tabs, and I was AD in the past.  That doesn't stop the fact that I'm paying over 20k a year in federal taxes on MY income (not including his) to sport some kids new TV/car/binge drinking DUI (military or not), that once they can't afford formula for the kids in a couple of months will end up on craigslist.  The general financial knowledge in this country is abysmal, it's even worse in the younger military though.  They really need to say no to those "new spouse orientation" classes and start making a financial planning course mandatory on entrance to the military.  I'm a big proponent of the EITC simply going away though, or at least making it non refundable.

No doubt there is lack of financial wisdom in the military.  Considering how poor my mandatory financial planning course was in basic (Something like $3000 in TSP now is all you need to retire in 40 years.) there is a lot of room for improvement.  There is also room for good role models and influence, but complaining about your tax dollars being used foolishly by military members implies they are overpaid.  I would rather have some foolish wasteful spending than all Soldiers getting a pay cut and I hope you would too.

Isn't EITC one of the best ways to encourage work among the poor and low income?  I thought it was universally popular.

MishMash

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Re: The official Tax Return Facepunch thread
« Reply #107 on: February 03, 2015, 01:11:03 PM »
I'd argue that it does more to not promote dual income households or socio economic climbing due to peoples reliance on it and it's low phase out limits.  For some reason people would rather NOT earn 10-20k working part time because it would prevent them from getting back 3-6 grand at tax time, 3-6 grand they get for doing absolutely nothing in some cases...You want to keep it and make it non refundable, I'm fine with that, I'm not fine with people receiving more at tax time back then they ever realistically paid in. 

It's the same with things like mortgage interest etc.  People say they wouldn't pay off their house early because they will lose the tax benefit, essentially getting back 25% from the government for paying 100% of the interest to the bank...even when it no  longer makes sense to itemize deductions they still claim they won't pay it off because of the tax deduction.  *I understand the invest the difference, low interest etc argument and I fully agree with it, the point is most people don't think that way, it's more about getting money back from the government, and yes I am totally OK with this going away too.

The fact that LARGE chunks of military pay isn't included in the maximum threshold calculations and you have people who normally wouldn't qualify for the credit receiving it, thereby aiding a group of people that probably least need the aiding due to the relatively stable nature of military pay and provided housing and you are adding to the deficit (yes in a small part) that is pushing things like troop cuts, reforms, lower raises etc in the military community.  How much is that TV worth when it could cost a fellow soldier their job down the line?  And YES it is TOTALLY stupid that this should be a cause of concern when we are BILLIONs over on weapon systems designs but the fact of the matter is that the government is looking more towards compensation reform and cuts to make up sequestration money instead of stopping things like the purchase of weapons and parts that are no longer wanted or needed.

As I said, if it wasn't going to something frivolous, and was actually going to providing a cushion in case said service member gets cut in the draw down, I wouldn't have an issue with it.  But lets face it, we ALL remember the crazy spouse freakouts over the potential missed paychecks during the government shutdown in 2013.  All of them blowing up the boards because they wouldn't be able to meet one months bills if the government didn't pay them etc.

FULLY agree with good role models etc.  Most people don't want to listen to good advice though, there was a whole other thread on here relating to how military folk have tried to offer help in the way of advise or counseling and the reactions that they have received. 

irishbear99

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Re: The official Tax Return Facepunch thread
« Reply #108 on: February 04, 2015, 09:42:27 AM »
If I didn't get a refund the whole thing would feel more aversive, even if mathematically it is more optimal. I guess I just don't get the mindset of being so financially optimal, that every day is just like the next day. I just don't get it.

It's like a game to me. Kind of like The Price is Right...how close can I get without going over. I have a spreadsheet I update every payday that projects how much I will pay in taxes verses how much I owe. I adjust my withholding up and down throughout the year (luckily I can do that easily online) to try to get it close. Last year my estimates for Federal and State were within $300 of the exact amount. This year I'm projecting to get back ~$130 from the Feds and owe ~$70 to the State. We'll see how it goes.

Either way, it's fun for me. (I have, however, been referred to as a "nerd" before. /shrug)

Accountant here...  I get to play this game several times a year doing tax projections for clients.  It's supremely satisfying when I compete the return the next year and it is very close.  Last year I actually got a "perfect score".  I had a fairly complex client that ended up getting no refund and owing nothing.  I shared my accomplishment with friends and nobody seemed impressed.  I don't know why.

I input my information into TurboTax. Looks like I'm receiving $224 back from the Feds and I owe the state $208 for a net refund of $16. Not bad for a non-accountant! :)

Michael792

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Re: The official Tax Return Facepunch thread
« Reply #109 on: February 06, 2015, 04:50:42 PM »
Turbotax is free for active duty members. I'm annoyed because I can't file my taxes yet. My mom said she forwarded some tax info to me but doesn't remember who it's from. (I'm waiting on a W-2 from my old job so I can file.) I've asked her before to tell me before she forwards something, because the mail service here is horrible and I can't guarantee that I'll get it by April. So yay.

MrMoogle

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Re: The official Tax Return Facepunch thread
« Reply #110 on: February 06, 2015, 05:46:59 PM »
Turbotax is free for active duty members. I'm annoyed because I can't file my taxes yet. My mom said she forwarded some tax info to me but doesn't remember who it's from. (I'm waiting on a W-2 from my old job so I can file.) I've asked her before to tell me before she forwards something, because the mail service here is horrible and I can't guarantee that I'll get it by April. So yay.
Just file an extension.  I've you've been overseas for a while, I believe federal just assumes you're extending.

Michael792

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Re: The official Tax Return Facepunch thread
« Reply #111 on: February 06, 2015, 09:19:57 PM »
Thanks for that. If it's not here by next month, I'll do that.

ender

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Re: The official Tax Return Facepunch thread
« Reply #112 on: February 07, 2015, 06:46:18 AM »
Turbotax is free for active duty members. I'm annoyed because I can't file my taxes yet. My mom said she forwarded some tax info to me but doesn't remember who it's from. (I'm waiting on a W-2 from my old job so I can file.) I've asked her before to tell me before she forwards something, because the mail service here is horrible and I can't guarantee that I'll get it by April. So yay.

You might check Turbotax, it can auto-import some W2's (my employer does this, it's great!).