Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Orange County, VA
I withhold at the single rate even though I am married and claim 0 exemptions. I usually get bonuses throughout the year that if I claimed exemptions and withheld at the normal "married" rate, would end up making me owe taxes at filing time. I don't like paying more when I file so I made those changes years ago. I also usually itemize my deductions because it is advantageous for me to do so. This year it was not. I used the new standard deduction and as I thought it would be, my refund was smaller. However, I also paid about $600 less out of my paycheck through the year. So for me, it balanced out in the end. My refund was smaller, but I paid less through the year.
I saw a lot of belly aching in the news about refunds being smaller, but none of those articles mentioned that those people probably pad less through out the year as well. Pay less up front, get less returned.... seems simple to me.
I would still prefer a much simpler system that incentivises saving. Ex.... a straight 20% sales tax and no income tax would result in larger contributions to our federal government, but would encourage better money management in our population. No tax filing, no refunds, no fraud/auditing, just a simple system that accomplishes the task of funding our government but does so unobtrusively and without the massive amount of work that our current system needs to support itself. retailers could roll that tax right into the prices of goods and services and after the initial "sticker shock" the first year or two, people wouldn't even think about it. IT also scales itself automatically to income level. Those who have more spend more and would then of course pay more in taxes. Those who earn less, buy less, and would therefore pay less in taxes. No sliding scales, credits, percentiles, etc....