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Is it possible to get a bigger refund than the amount of tax paid in?

I just did my taxes on Turbo Tax. I made $45000 in Wis last year. I did get married, my wife is a housewife so she has no income. My daughter started college last fall and we paid her tuition. After doing our taxes, it states that we will get a refund of $5500 from the federal and $1200 from the state. How can this be when we only paid $4350 in taxes to federaL and $2278 to state. I am not complaining but something just don't seem right. I checked my numbers and they were entered correct.

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JohnW15
Intuit Alumni

Is it possible to get a bigger refund than the amount of tax paid in?

Yes, this is very possible... especially when you have a child in college.

This is very common when you're eligible for refundable credits.  You're probably getting a refundable child tax credit for your daughter, and maybe some for her education expenses, as well.  So, it's possible that you can get a refund larger than what you've had withheld.

Without knowing all of your specifics, I'll just guide you to the TurboTax article What Is the Difference Between a Refundable and a Nonrefundable Credit? so you can see what I’m referring to as far as refundable credits.


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2 Replies
JohnW15
Intuit Alumni

Is it possible to get a bigger refund than the amount of tax paid in?

Yes, this is very possible... especially when you have a child in college.

This is very common when you're eligible for refundable credits.  You're probably getting a refundable child tax credit for your daughter, and maybe some for her education expenses, as well.  So, it's possible that you can get a refund larger than what you've had withheld.

Without knowing all of your specifics, I'll just guide you to the TurboTax article What Is the Difference Between a Refundable and a Nonrefundable Credit? so you can see what I’m referring to as far as refundable credits.


Is it possible to get a bigger refund than the amount of tax paid in?

Thank you very much, I was wondering if I prepared my taxes correctly, I double and triple checked my answers.
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