Poll: The tax man cometh...(W-4 withholdings)

Now I don't know how taxes work in other countries so feel free to complain about the ignorance of Americans and whatnot if you feel that you MUST say something in every thread you enter...

So Americans! How bout that awesome country we live in, eh?! Pretty sweet. Anyway, I thought it might be fun to talk about everyone's favorite ice breaker: Taxes!

There's generally three lines of thought when it comes to taxes and tax returns:

1. Throw as much money as the government wants to take and get a bitching huge return (Tippy2k2's choice of action)
2. Balance the numbers so that you are as close to even as possible. You might get a little or have to give a little but it'll always be close.
3. They can take my taxes out of my cold dead hands...give me all my money and I'll just pay what I owe at the end.

So for those of you who are old and boring enough that this actually matters to you:

Which line of thinking do you go with and why? Have you looked into the others or do you just stick your head in the sand like this user and just let it work itself out?

I personally let them take as much out to get a big return later. With my student loans, I get the vast majority of my return back and it's kind of nice getting a huge chunk of change in the beginning of the year.

I have my W-4 set up to take an extra $10 for both Fed and State taxes. Mostly to ensure I never owe anything but also because I like the sight of a big return. It's like getting a present from the government!

Though to be fair most of my return comes from student loan interest payments so I suppose in 8 years I'll find out if my return stays copious or shrivels to a rounding error.

(I'm not american, or a taxpayer currently [yay being a penniless student] but I'll stick my oar in anyway)
Assuming the net bill is the same for each method, it makes most sense to give the money as late as possible, so that it can accumulate pitiful levels of interest. However, I imagine that if you slip up then you can get in lots of trouble so its more risky. Also, assuming that the government can get much better interest rates than me, and I make use of government infrastructure a lot (roads, hospitals, schools etc.) then it could be of greater net benefit to me (via the wider economy) to give it to the government early, and then get a rebate.

So, like any true englishman, I'll go for the middle way for no reason other than that its in the middle.

I pay the guy my parents use to file my taxes for me.

I usually get a refund which exceeds the cost of having someone file my taxes for me because I'm so po'.

I made $300 last year, so I expect to buy a diet coke with my refund.

I made $300 last year, so I expect to buy a diet coke with my refund.

$300? I don't believe you even have to claim that :)

The limits is...$599? I want to say $599 but I could be wrong on that.


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