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5 Answers

why was my tax return so low this year?

Asked by: samserio 1676 views YA Discussion

I only worked 6 months last year and made $ 18,000. My federal income tax withheld was about $ 1800 and I received a W-2 form from my school since I got a $ 900 grant and was eligible for $ 5k, but my school used what was necessary to pay for my classes and the rest I didn’t receive outside that $ 900.

My tax return is only about $ 1,100… so I was wondering why my tax return was so incredibly low?
Also. I asked why it was so low and all the guy who filed my taxes really said was because since my parents aren’t dead, I’m under 24 with them still being alive it hurts my tax return.

How others found here:

  • why is my refund so low this year 2013
  • why is my 2012 tax return so low
  • why is my 2013 tax return so much less

5 Answers



  1. acmeraven on Mar 24, 2012 Reply

    Is the preparer licensed & registered by the IRS? You should seek out an experienced preparer for a second opinion; you can always file a 1040X to correct any errors.

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  2. samantha on Mar 24, 2012 Reply

    your “tax return” is what the government gives back from your over payment of withholding’s in the prior year.

    The more you overpay in the tax year the larger your refund will be but it has nothing to do with how much you end up paying in taxes for the year.

    so it sounds like you ended up paying around $ 700.00 in taxes on $ 18,900 in income or approximately 3%.

    the “24 years” concept suggests that your parents are claiming you as a dependent on their tax return however your income may exceed the limit for them to have that option. There are certain requirements for whether or not the parents can claim you as a dependent on their taxes – the primary ones are that they had to provide more than 50% of your support AND you lived with them for more than half the year (college students are normally considered temporary residents at college so for most college students they CAN still be considered as living with their parents for this option) – note that the parents being “DEAD” has zero bearing on the determination. – the ultimate question is whether or not they are counting you as a dependent on their tax return. If they are not then you can claim that deduction on your taxes..

    Also; if you are using a ‘tax preparer’ at all for such a simple tax situation you are probably getting robbed. – you should be able to file a 1040EZ using the exact same information that the preparer asked you to provide him. Use the standard deductions including yourself – you are probably also losing a ton of money if you are getting a “rapid refund” – rapid refunds offers are huge ripoffs. never – never – never take the “rapid refund” offer the tax preparation places “offer”..

    also the vast majority of these “tax preparation offices” are incapable of handling anything beyond fairly simple tax situations and most people should be quite capable of doing those simple tax situations themselves. Many universities have free tax assistance available through student services as well. For more complicated tax matters you are much better off with a real accountant. – in this case if the tax advise you have indicated was the actual advise from the tax preparation offices they are incompetent.

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  3. Quick Answers on Mar 24, 2012 Reply

    One, the return is what you filed. Any money coming back to you is a refund.

    Two, as a student, you are assumed to be temporarily away from home unless you supported yourself.

    If you did not support yourself, your exemption and education credit move to your parents’ return. (Alternately, they can choose not to claim the exemption and have the non-refundable part of the credit move back to our return.)

    If you did support yourself, your exemption and education credit move to your return. If you are under 24 and have living parents, there was an extra test on the AOC. You could only get the refundable part if your earned income from a W-2 was more than half of your total support.

    What are the numbers off of the tax return. The ones you give do not add up. If your tuition was $ 4100, what was room and board?

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  4. A Hunch on Mar 24, 2012 Reply

    The correct questions you should be asking is why is your tax so LOW!.
    You make $ 18000 and paid $ 700 in taxes. That is less than a 4% tax rate.

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