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Returning Member


Several days ago I did my taxes and I didn't make that much but I do t know why I owe so much

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3 Replies
Expert Alumni


There can be multiple reasons why the tax you owe went up.  I expect that you are talking about the amount you owe as opposed to the total tax that was calculated.

  • Did you work multiple jobs?
  • Did you receive a 1099-NEC or 1099-MISC?  You would not only owe income tax on these, but also Self-Employment Tax.  The self-employment tax rate is 15.3%. That rate is the sum of a 12.4% for Social Security and 2.9% for Medicare. Self-employment tax applies to net earnings.
  • Did you loose a dependent?
  • Was there a Credit that you qualified for last year that you didn't get this year?
  • Did you take a retirement distribution that you didn't withhold taxes on?
  • Are you on Social Security and had other income?  At a certain point Social Security does become taxable.

These could be some of the reasons.  Always look at what changed from last year to this year.

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Returning Member


A little.the withholding went up a bit since last year but my income is myself and 2 dependents so I still don't understand how i owe almost what I received last year.i pay child support on 2 separate cases too so money is tight as it is and normally I don't owe.i feel like something is missing or put in wrong 

Expert Alumni


There are three factors that will determine the size of your refund (or what you owe).

  1. The total amount of income that you have.
  2. The amount you had withheld from your wages.
  3. Whether you qualify for certain tax credits.

Your income determines the amount of tax you owe.  This not only includes your wages, but also any other type of income you may have had.  Based on criteria established by the IRS there are tables that determine the amount of tax that you owe.  Double check your income entries and make sure they are correct.


The amount you had withheld generally come from your W-2 income; however, taxes can be withheld from other forms of income.  If the taxes withheld is more than what you owe you will get a refund.  If not, you will owe money.  Again, double check your entries and be sure they are correct.


You can subtract Tax Credits from the amount of tax you owe.   Here are some common Credits:  

If you look on your tax return FORM 1040 you can check these entries.

  • Line 19 Child Tax Credit
  • Line 27 Earned Income Credit
  • Line 28 Additional Tax Child Tax Credit
  • Line 29 American Opportunity Credit (For College)
  • Line 30 Recovery Rebate Credit
  • You also may have had more taxes withheld on your income.

Compare your tax credits to what you had last year.  This is the most likely place for a large amount to be.

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