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Tax Day 2018: My 2017 Tax Return

My cousin just bought a house at the latter part of 2017. I was curious how the home ownership tax deductions affected his return. Since the perceived benefit doesn’t seem to match the actual numbers in my cursory searches and applied examples.  He sad it increased it by about 67%. I don’t have actual numbers though. Seems high. What do you think?
In that conversation, I mentioned that I think I was getting maybe $30 or so back total between state and federal returns. He was curious how I estimated my tax so well. I appreciate the credit, but I think it’s more so I’m just a default or template tax payer. I have nothing to claim or deduct, so I take the standard deduction. And I think the general estimates are based on simple tax situations like mine. I’ve never felt so average. 😏

Part of the purpose of this blog is to create a space for single earners like myself and we all love a numbers post. So I thought I’d include for illustrative purposes what a simple return looks like.
(numerical values truncated for privacy and laziness)

Filing Tool: HR Block Free File
FEDERAL
Filing Status: Single
Wages: $86,000
Standard Deduction: $6,300
Exemptions: $4,000
Income Tax: $14,7xx
Federal Witholding: $14,7xx
Amount Owed: $16
Marginal Tax Bracket: 25%
Effective Tax Bracket: 17%

Savings, per HR Block:
By participating in a qualified retirement plan through my employer this year and making contributions with pretax dollars, I reduced my taxes by: $2,600.00
In simple terms, the Marginal Tax Rate is the tax rate that you pay on your last dollar of taxable income. It is the highest federal tax bracket that affects your tax calculation. The Effective Tax Rate is the percentage of your total income that you paid in taxes. For 2017, my Marginal Tax Rate is 25% and my Effective Tax Rate is 17%.
STATE
Total Tax: $4,2xx
Total Payments: $4,3xx
Refund Amount: $63
Net Refund ($63 – $16) = $47
That’s it folks! I think I did it during my lunch break at work! How did your filing go?

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