You are posting from Deluxe $40
State return $40
Refund processing to have fees deducted from federal refund by 3rd party bank $39.99 ($44.99 in CA) (This fee is optional and can be avoided by paying TT upfront using a credit/debit card)
WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY? I WANT THE FREE EDITION
The information that you can enter in Free Edition is pretty limited now. Thanks to the new tax laws that began for 2018 returns, there are no more simple Form 1040EZ or 1040A's. Everything goes on a Form 1040 that has three extra "schedules" with it, and if you need any of those schedules, you are not able to use the Free Edition. Using the standard deduction instead of itemizing does NOT mean you will not need any of those schedules.https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/4511011-what-happened-to-the-1040a-and-1040ez
If you qualify to use it, there is another full-featured free version of the software:
Try Free File:
You qualify if your income was $39,000 or less, or $72,000 or less if active duty military, or if you qualify for Earned Income Credit
Note: If you do not qualify to use Free File then you will have to upgrade to Deluxe or higher in the paid versions of the software.
Online Deluxe $40 State software $40
Or—-Use this IRS site for other ways to file for free
Why is my tax return only $163? Do you mean your refund is $163?
No one can see your return
We cannot see your screen, your return or your account. Have you entered ALL of your 2020 information? All your income, etc.? Many tax documents that you need do not arrive until late January or even February, so maybe you do not have it all there yet.
No one in this user forum can see your tax return or your screen. There were major tax law changes that began with the 2018 tax year that seem to continue to surprise some people. Personal exemptions of over $4000 per person were removed beginning with 2018 returns.
Was something different for 2020? Did you have less income due to the pandemic? Did you receive unemployment compensation? If so, did you have tax withheld from it?
There are a lot of variables that affect your refund or tax due including how much you earned, how much tax you had withheld, your filing status, the number of dependents you claim, your deductions and credits, etc. You may have lost Earned Income Credit or the Child Tax Credit— did a child turn 17? If you received the EIC last year, remember that changes in the amount you earn have a big effect on the amount of EIC you can get. (Sometimes earning more money means less EIC) Are you 65 or older ? If so, your standard deduction is higher. Everyone has a higher standard deduction now so it is harder to use itemized deductions.
And of course, always check your own data entries, looking for errors such as misplaced decimals or extra zeros.
Print out 2019 and 2020 and compare them side by side to see what is different. The line numbers are different so it is tricky and you have to read them very carefully.
One other suggestion-----make sure you have gone to the earned income credit section in your federal return. There is a "lookback" that will allow you to choose whether to use your 2019 or 2020 AGI to calculate your earned income credit and child tax credit for 2020. You can pick whichever one gives you a better refund.