I claimed 0 last year on my W4. According to my CPA, I still owe IRS $1,176. I don't get it?

Filling status: Married, filling separately

Total income: $51,667

State: California

Charitable contributions: $50


My spouse took a standard deduction.

Update 2:

2010 Federal Income Tax Withholding: $5,200.01

Update 3:

Thanks everyone for the insights! I'll start withholding extra $$$ from every paycheck.

6 Answers

  • Eric
    Lv 6
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Depends how much income tax was withheld from your paychecks. (Box 2 of the w-2)

    The tax on that income is about $6760.

    Take the amount in box 2 and subtract 6360 (including making work pay credit) from it. If the result is a positive number, that's your refund. If it's negative, that's what you owe. Give or take, it's a close estimate.

    For example, if they withheld $5,000 from your checks:

    5000-6360 = -1360 (you would owe $1360)

    Btw-Unless you have other itemized deductions, your $50 charitable contribution is probably worthless (for tax purposes).


    There you go: 5200 - 6360 = $1160. I was close. LOL

    It looks like your W-4 is filled out incorrectly. Even though you took 0 exemptions, you probably had it set to "Married". So they take out at the married rate. You need to check the box that says "Married, but withhold at the higher single rate"

    WITHHOLDING (according to paychecity.com)

    Married with 0: $5150

    Married (single rate) with 0: $8185

    You would have gotten a refund of about $1800 if you withheld at single rate.

    Change your W-4 to "Married, but withhold at the higher single rate" if you plan on filing separately next year again.

  • 9 years ago

    I assumed you file as MFS, no dependent, then your 1040 as following :

    51,667 - 9,350 = 42,317, this is your taxable income. The charitable # is not enough for you to itemize, so your standard deduction is 5,700 + personal exemption 3,650 = 9,350

    Your tax liability is 6,783, minus MWPC 400, you have 6,783 - 400 = 6,383

    How much is your F/W?

    If you owe , you should make an addition withheld for each paycheck for year 2011, for example:

    If you have the same income in 2011, the amount $ 1,176 divide by 52 paychecks if you have paid weekly :

    1176/52 = 23 , this is the amount you should add in your W-4 on line 6


    Just remind you, next year the $400 from MWPC is expired, so may be you owe the larger amount. You should adjust your W-4 ASAP to avoid owing taxes.

    Edit :

    You will owe :

    6,383 - 5,200 = 1,183

  • Bob F
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Did your spouse itemize or take the standard deduction?

    You have a tax liability of $6763 in that case. How much was withheld?

    You should change your W4 to "Married but withhold at the higher single rate" because MFS and Single have identical numbers for that range of income.


  • teets
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

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  • tro
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    to start off with if your withholding was $5200 and your income was $51667, it immediately tells me you didn't have enough withheld during the year

    this is barely 10% and that is the lowest tax rate and certainly not on the taxable income of $42317

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Then reverify your W-4 so the same thing doesn't happen next year.

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