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Unread 01-30-2008, 08:49 AM   #1
sparkchaser
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Tax question: do I have any recourse or am I screwed?

When I filled out my W-4, I put down single but my company put down married in their system.

Because of their screwup, I owe close to $4000.

Do I have any recourse?

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"Sandstorms inflict damage of about $540 million per year, and losses of crops and forests due to acid rain amount to about $730 million per year. More serious are the $6 billion costs of the "green wall" of trees being built to shield Beijing against sand and dust, and the $7 billion per year of losses created by pest species. We enter the zone of impressive numbers when we consider the onetime cost of the 1996 floods ($27 billion, but still cheaper than the 1998 floods), the annual direct losses due to desertification ($42 billion), and the annual losses due to water and air pollution ($54 billion). The combination of the latter two items alone costs China the equivalent of 14% of its GDP each year." - Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
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Unread 01-30-2008, 08:51 AM   #2
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I would think so, if it wasn't your error... I don't know if there's some sort of a process (Like filing for an extension) that you can go through...seems like you can't be the only person who has had this happen.
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Unread 01-30-2008, 10:12 AM   #3
Boreal
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Get married real fast and back date the certificate to 12/31/07

Honestly I don't think there's much you can do other than explain the screwup to the IRS and hope they'll give you extra time to come up with the taxes (don't hold your breath tho). You were given that extra $4K throughout the year with your paychecks and now the IRS wants their money back
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Unread 01-30-2008, 10:15 AM   #4
waterboarder
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You owe the tax, you owe the tax. If you don't have the money, you can get on a payment plan with the IRS and/or use a credit card. The one big mistake you do not want to make is to not file because you don't have the money. That will REALLY cost you.
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Unread 01-30-2008, 10:26 AM   #5
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Are some not understanding the original post? HE'S NOT MARRIED. Why would he pay the taxes of a married person if he's not married???

I doubt anyone here is going to have any idea how to handle this. You need to talk to human resources at your company. You shouldn't be held accountable for their screw up.
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Unread 01-30-2008, 10:32 AM   #6
Boreal
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He had LESS taxes taken out of his paycheck than he was supposed to because he was listed as married on his W-4. He was overpaid all year long and now has to pay that back.

Married people pay less taxes. Single people pay more taxes. He's single, but had the "marriage benefit" all year long. Now that he's found the mistake while preparing his taxes, he has to pay all that back
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Unread 01-30-2008, 11:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boreal21

Married people pay less taxes. Single people pay more taxes. He's single, but had the "marriage benefit" all year long. Now that he's found the mistake while preparing his taxes, he has to pay all that back
Well, more likely he claimed a '1' on his taxes and his company put him down as a '2' so less was withheld. Married people don't actually pay less, it just sometimes works out that way due to wage differences between spouses.
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Unread 01-30-2008, 11:16 AM   #8
sparkchaser
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Boreal21 knows what's up.

Of course I am still filing (and paying). I just think it's absurd for me to pay for someone else's mistake.

At the very least, I should be able to recoup the $121 Underpayment of Estimated Tax penalty that they are going to nail me with.
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"Sandstorms inflict damage of about $540 million per year, and losses of crops and forests due to acid rain amount to about $730 million per year. More serious are the $6 billion costs of the "green wall" of trees being built to shield Beijing against sand and dust, and the $7 billion per year of losses created by pest species. We enter the zone of impressive numbers when we consider the onetime cost of the 1996 floods ($27 billion, but still cheaper than the 1998 floods), the annual direct losses due to desertification ($42 billion), and the annual losses due to water and air pollution ($54 billion). The combination of the latter two items alone costs China the equivalent of 14% of its GDP each year." - Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
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Unread 01-30-2008, 11:29 AM   #9
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Tough break, that really sucks but your only option is to work with the IRS on this one. They are more than willing to set up a payment option for you to pay the taxes, you'll just have to spend a lot of time on hold to get through to them.

Call them soon and set it up. You'll have no worries, and 4k shouldn't be too terribly painful on the wallet.
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Unread 01-30-2008, 11:48 AM   #10
1998TJI6
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I am surprised there is $4000 difference between married and single. I would think something like 500 to 1000 differences. That comes out to $77 a week.
I would think the IRS would wave the fee it never hurts to ask.
Good luck
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Unread 01-30-2008, 11:52 AM   #11
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I actually do this for a living.
If you check Publication 15 at IRS.gov, you'll see that there must be more factors at work here. I'm thinking that even if your company put you in the payroll system correctly, you would still owe something. There is a difference between the tables used to calculate the withholding for single vs married people, but the difference is not going to be $4000. Most likely, you claimed too many excemptions. Also, as others have stated, the tax liability is yours. No one else's. You should (in the future) check your paystubs each week to ensure that you have enough withheld. Most paystubs will tell you year-to-date totals. If you have 4000 worth of liability this year, you want to make sure you're at least that much ahead next year.
Unless you get married, have triplets, and buy a big house.
But if your personal life doesn't change too much, be sure to have mroe withheld.
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Unread 01-30-2008, 12:02 PM   #12
sparkchaser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ynotyj
I actually do this for a living.
If you check Publication 15 at IRS.gov, you'll see that there must be more factors at work here. I'm thinking that even if your company put you in the payroll system correctly, you would still owe something. There is a difference between the tables used to calculate the withholding for single vs married people, but the difference is not going to be $4000. Most likely, you claimed too many excemptions. Also, as others have stated, the tax liability is yours. No one else's. You should (in the future) check your paystubs each week to ensure that you have enough withheld. Most paystubs will tell you year-to-date totals. If you have 4000 worth of liability this year, you want to make sure you're at least that much ahead next year.
Unless you get married, have triplets, and buy a big house.
But if your personal life doesn't change too much, be sure to have mroe withheld.
I never claimed that my tax liability was someone else's. I'm not expecting the IRS to say "it's OK, we'll call it even". I was just wondering what options (if any) were available to me.

When I filled out my W-4, I only claimed one exemption. I have no idea how many the company put me down for.

I am fixing this today so this won't happen again next year.

p.s. Does anyone have a dependent or two they aren't using this year?
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"Sandstorms inflict damage of about $540 million per year, and losses of crops and forests due to acid rain amount to about $730 million per year. More serious are the $6 billion costs of the "green wall" of trees being built to shield Beijing against sand and dust, and the $7 billion per year of losses created by pest species. We enter the zone of impressive numbers when we consider the onetime cost of the 1996 floods ($27 billion, but still cheaper than the 1998 floods), the annual direct losses due to desertification ($42 billion), and the annual losses due to water and air pollution ($54 billion). The combination of the latter two items alone costs China the equivalent of 14% of its GDP each year." - Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
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Unread 01-30-2008, 12:04 PM   #13
Boreal
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I claim 10 exemptions and the IRS still throws money at me come tax time

Wish I could transfer a couple of mine to you.












wait... no I don't. Jeep is due for a lift
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Unread 01-30-2008, 12:06 PM   #14
sgnellett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boreal21
He had LESS taxes taken out of his paycheck than he was supposed to because he was listed as married on his W-4. He was overpaid all year long and now has to pay that back.

Married people pay less taxes. Single people pay more taxes. He's single, but had the "marriage benefit" all year long. Now that he's found the mistake while preparing his taxes, he has to pay all that back
He wasn't "overpaid", it's just that the government confiscated less of his money from each paycheck. The money was his first, before the govt decides how much to take, personally, I like to owe the govt $5 at tax time each year, a refund only means that they have been sitting on your money all year w/ no benefit to you!
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Unread 01-30-2008, 12:09 PM   #15
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Yeah... I was trying to keep it simple
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