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saxguy007
New Member

Why does my Federal return progressively DECREASE as I enter various expenses for my side business?

Hi


So I moonlight as a musician, and earn a few $k a year doing this, but much of this is eaten up with car mileage (to gigs), repairs to my instruments, advertising, insurance etc.  I don't pay in quarterly taxes since my net income is so low it's a subsidized hobby almost.

 

So why is it that after I enter my gross income from this side business, then start to enter in these piecemeal REDUCTIONS in my effective income, that my projected tax return in the box above is progressively lessening/worsening?  I would expect it to be the other way around!

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
HelenC12
Employee Tax Expert

Why does my Federal return progressively DECREASE as I enter various expenses for my side business?

Strangely enough, an income decrease can sometimes reduce your refund. One example is reducing or losing the Earned Income Credit (EIC) . Your earned income goes down every time you enter a business expense. Your EIC is based on your earned income (gross income less expenses), so as your income goes down, so does your refund.

  • See loss of credits or deductions below.

When figuring your net earnings from self-employment, you must claim all your allowable business expenses. See Publication 596 - Internal Revenue Service, Chapter 5, page 21.

 

Without examining your return, it's impossible to say exactly what caused your refund to decrease. However, there's a high probability that at least one reason is listed below.

 

If your refund is wildly off, it's possible you simply mistyped a dollar amount somewhere. An extra digit here, a missing number there, even something as seemingly insignificant as a misplaced decimal point can have an eye-popping effect on your TurboTax refund.

 

Changes in your income or tax rate:

  • You (or your spouse) took on an additional job (especially non-wage income which is taxed at the higher self-employment tax rate);
  • Your salary or wages increased but your W-4 stayed the same;
  • You sold investments but didn't take out any taxes from the sale;
  • Your filing status changed from last year;
  • You started receiving Social Security benefits or Roth IRA distributions;
  • You received taxable unemployment income;
  • You had gambling winnings;
  • You're paying a penalty for not having health insurance coverage in 2018.

The reduction in Schedule C net earnings might also cause an IRA contribution to become an excess contribution subject to penalty due to having insufficient compensation to support a contribution already entered. 

 

Loss of credits or deductions:

  • Your child turned 17 in 2018, causing you to lose the Child Tax Credit;
  • Your child turned 19 in 2018 (or 24, if a full-time student) and no longer qualifies as a dependent;
  • You paid off your mortgage and can no longer deduct mortgage interest;
  • You took the itemized deduction last year (for example because of high medical bills) but got the standard deduction this year;
  • You didn't qualify for the Earned Income Credit this year;
  • You paid off your student loan and can no longer deduct the interest;
  • You're no longer eligible for certain education credits (or you took a different credit this year)
  • You didn't contribute to a Traditional IRA (or couldn't take the full deduction because your income was too high).

Related Information:

 

 

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"

View solution in original post

1 Reply
HelenC12
Employee Tax Expert

Why does my Federal return progressively DECREASE as I enter various expenses for my side business?

Strangely enough, an income decrease can sometimes reduce your refund. One example is reducing or losing the Earned Income Credit (EIC) . Your earned income goes down every time you enter a business expense. Your EIC is based on your earned income (gross income less expenses), so as your income goes down, so does your refund.

  • See loss of credits or deductions below.

When figuring your net earnings from self-employment, you must claim all your allowable business expenses. See Publication 596 - Internal Revenue Service, Chapter 5, page 21.

 

Without examining your return, it's impossible to say exactly what caused your refund to decrease. However, there's a high probability that at least one reason is listed below.

 

If your refund is wildly off, it's possible you simply mistyped a dollar amount somewhere. An extra digit here, a missing number there, even something as seemingly insignificant as a misplaced decimal point can have an eye-popping effect on your TurboTax refund.

 

Changes in your income or tax rate:

  • You (or your spouse) took on an additional job (especially non-wage income which is taxed at the higher self-employment tax rate);
  • Your salary or wages increased but your W-4 stayed the same;
  • You sold investments but didn't take out any taxes from the sale;
  • Your filing status changed from last year;
  • You started receiving Social Security benefits or Roth IRA distributions;
  • You received taxable unemployment income;
  • You had gambling winnings;
  • You're paying a penalty for not having health insurance coverage in 2018.

The reduction in Schedule C net earnings might also cause an IRA contribution to become an excess contribution subject to penalty due to having insufficient compensation to support a contribution already entered. 

 

Loss of credits or deductions:

  • Your child turned 17 in 2018, causing you to lose the Child Tax Credit;
  • Your child turned 19 in 2018 (or 24, if a full-time student) and no longer qualifies as a dependent;
  • You paid off your mortgage and can no longer deduct mortgage interest;
  • You took the itemized deduction last year (for example because of high medical bills) but got the standard deduction this year;
  • You didn't qualify for the Earned Income Credit this year;
  • You paid off your student loan and can no longer deduct the interest;
  • You're no longer eligible for certain education credits (or you took a different credit this year)
  • You didn't contribute to a Traditional IRA (or couldn't take the full deduction because your income was too high).

Related Information:

 

 

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"

View solution in original post

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