Ot: Tax questions

Ot: Tax questions

Post by shell » Mon, 15 Mar 2004 14:18:06

I always have filed single, no dependents. That allows the government to
take much more than they should and you get your money back at the end of
the year when you file married. You won't pay. It's also giving Uncle Sam a
tax free loan for a year. I'd rather let them take the extra money and be
done with it, than to have to pay at the end of the year but that's just me.

Subject: OT taxes questions - any experts?
Date: Saturday, March 13, 2004 3:01 PM

Obviously I know nothing about taxes. Just got a shock when I did the
calculations for 2003 and noticed for the first time we owe a big chunk
(at least for us, since in the past we always got a couple hundred bucks
back). Remember we rent, we don't get too much interest from savings
accounts, and we have no other income besides 2 postdoc salaries. This
is the second time we filed jointly.

I noticed that a lot less was taken from our paychecks than in 2002,
especially for DH. Any hint as to why? We both changed our status to
married in Jan of 2003 (we couldn't claim married until we were
'residents for tax purposes' and able to use the regular 1040 instead of
the 1040NR which has nothing to do with being legal residents but with
being in the US longer than 5 years, it has been more than that, but we
hadn't done it - I think I had, but it never crossed DH's mind he might
change his status, he just does not think about those mundane facts),
and we only have one allowance each. Do you guys know if changing from
single -> married implies less is taken every month?

Or do you think it might be related to the new tax laws? I did notice
the amount I took home went up at some point, while the total salary had
not increased at that time.. I was happy since I was taking more home,
and did not question why at the time (I guess in the long run it is
better to owe since you've had the money all along, right? But getting a
check back sure is nice!).

Here I was, naively thinking that since taxes had gone down with Bush
(or so the ads keep repeating, although I know most benefits are for the
very rich) and there was no marriage penalty anymore we'd get a nice
check back!

Do you think I should see someone so they can take a look at my numbers?
Like an HR Block person? They say the can definitely save you some
money, right? The thing is, our taxes are so simple I am not sure they
can help us so paying a fee might not be worth it.. unless there is
something I am completely missing and it might make a huge difference -
remember Sofia was born this year so I cannot claim her!

Dr. Quilter
Ambassador of Extraordinary Aliens
(take the dog out before replying)