Because I've complained about it before, I thought I'd let you all know the result of this year's taxes. Oh, and I submitted my returns last month, in case you're wondering.
This will be the first year in a decade that I'll be getting a refund from the federal government. And a good one at that. So after changing my W4 to "married, hold at higher single rate" with an extra amount withheld, I've finally gotten to the point where I don't owe at the end of the year. Compare this to 2000 where I claimed 3 deductions and received a refund. Now, I do earn almost 165% of what I did back in 2000, so part of that may have been working through the middle of that new tax bracket, but what really turned the tide was the Bush Tax Cuts. After they were passed, because we don't have children, we went from a net overpayment to a net underpayment. About every 2 years after that I would adjust my W4 to try and get to even.
What really made the difference? While I haven't fully reviewed the full numbers through the documents, we had a ton of deductible expenses last year. A mix of massive mileage on the car, donations to charity, medical expenses, and retirement savings all added up to take us beyond the standard deductions (which our tax account predicted we would be taking this year).
So we're getting a refund this year. Sometime this summer I work through the full numbers (taking these classes has really sapped my time and mental space).