Post Reply Tax return question
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27 / M / Shirley, NY
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Posted 3/15/15 , edited 3/15/15
I helped my stepdad use turbotax to try to figure out what he would get back and he wasn't very pleased with the results. He said something about someone who makes the same money as him getting more back. I told him that he really can't compare himself to others when it comes to taxes because everyone is different, but he insists it should be the same. My question to you guys is, assuming that two people make the same hourly salary and file a 1040 (is that the one?), without any of the extra stuff like charities and loans, and assuming both have zero dependents, would that necessarily mean that they would get back the same amount? I live in NY, by the way.
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M / NY
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Posted 3/15/15
It is entirely possible that the other individual has additional taxes taken out to ensure a bigger return. I do this on my taxes weekly by taking an additional 20$ federal and 10$ state. Plus there may be different credits being applied for various other reasons.
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28 / M / Seattle
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Posted 3/15/15 , edited 3/15/15
Doesn't seem like he knows much about taxes... tax returns are basically interest free loans that YOU gave to the government. It'd be like giving your friend $100 a month for a year, then him giving you $1,200 back at the end of the year. It's much better to owe close to nothing and get nothing back every tax season. Basically, that guy who makes the same amount of money as him had more taken from his paycheck than your dad did.
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32 / M / Atlanta, GA
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Posted 3/15/15
Yeah, two people making the same salary doesn't at all mean they pay the same in taxes. Different people qualify for different credits, deductions from income, and hence have different "adjusted gross income" that they pay taxes on.
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50 / M / Chicago, IL
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Posted 3/15/15
Do they have the same status on their w-4. For example, I am married but I choose "Married, but withhold at higher Single rate." so I get more taken out and a bigger return at the end of the year. If you choose "Married" you get less taken out of your paycheck but a small return as well.
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22 / F / NY
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Posted 3/15/15
Umm why don't you talk to your accountant...
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35 / M
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Posted 3/15/15
yes it's possible. Not only the withholdings might be different, but even things like age may change the amounts deducted. Then there's how good of an accountant you have. Sucks but true. Turbotax and such are just going to be as good as the info you put in. It's not the same as hiring someone to go through your expenditures, find whatever they can deduct, and get your a better deal. From.. hell, if your job requires a uniform, you may be able to deduct the costs of those clothes, to whether or not you purchased a home, or, if you work from home, or your business is based from home, there's deductions there.

Taxes are NOT something as simple as "you both made the same amount so you pay the same amount", despite how many of us may want it to be.. :S
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F / Boston-ish
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Posted 3/16/15

theguzzz wrote:

I helped my stepdad use turbotax to try to figure out what he would get back and he wasn't very pleased with the results. He said something about someone who makes the same money as him getting more back. I told him that he really can't compare himself to others when it comes to taxes because everyone is different, but he insists it should be the same. My question to you guys is, assuming that two people make the same hourly salary and file a 1040 (is that the one?), without any of the extra stuff like charities and loans, and assuming both have zero dependents, would that necessarily mean that they would get back the same amount? I live in NY, by the way.


I've moved this to Advice, Info, R commendations.

One other thing that can be different that affects how much was taken out in taxes that would then affect the refund, is the amount of "pretax" deductions on a paycheck. Things like 401k contributions and health insurance affect how much of pay is taxable.
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31 / M / Bellingham WA, USA
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Posted 3/16/15
The other person may have some deductions, so who knows?
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