Tax Refunds and Withholding

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The most important thing most people want to know about their tax return is how much tax refund they will get back.

As you use TaxAct, you can see how much you owe or are receiving as a refund as you enter information on your return. As TaxAct helps you find every tax benefit to which you are entitled, that number should look more and more favorable.

No one complains when they get a healthy tax refund.

Nevertheless, the first thing you should do when you get an especially large refund is to make sure it doesn't happen again next year.

Getting a huge refund every year means you're having too much income tax withheld from your paycheck all through the year, or you're paying too much in estimated taxes.

You can make better use of your money by keeping it in your control all year.

If you have high interest credit card debt, you're better off using the money to pay off that debt as soon as possible. If you have an emergency, your money should be someplace where you can access it if you need to.

If you use overwithholding as a kind of forced savings plan, consider other automatic savings plans that give you a better return and let you keep your own money. You can have your employer deduct some of your pay for a retirement plan, or deposit it directly into savings for you. Or you can set up an automatic online plan for investing or transferring to a savings account.

Some people hesitate to lower their income tax withholding because they're afraid they might end up owing money when they file their taxes. They'd rather shortchange themselves all year than possibly end up with a bill at tax time.

You don't have to choose between having way too much withheld or worrying about owing taxes at the end of the year. Using the Form W-4 Withholding section, you can make sure your income tax withholding more closely matches the amount you owe the IRS when you file.


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Upcoming Tax Dates

August 1 — Certain small employers
Deposit any undeposited tax if your tax liability is $2,500 or more for 2018 but less than $2,500 for the second quarter.

August 1 — Federal unemployment tax
Deposit the tax owed through June if more than $500.

August 1 — All employers
If you maintain an employee benefit plan, such as a pension, profitsharing, or stock bonus plan, file Form 5500 or 5500EZ for calendar year 2017. If you use a fiscal year as your plan year, file the form by the last day of the seventh month after the plan year ends.

August 10 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during July, report them to your employer Details

August 10 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the second quarter of 2019. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full.

August 15 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in July.

View More Tax Dates