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We owe taxes after marking 0 on w4

My husband and I are filing jointly this year, as we have in years past. After inputting my W2s, we were owed a signifiant refund. However, when I entered my husbands W2s (and all the supplementary forms aka the filing is complete), we now owe a significant amount. What gives? I've read that it's because one of us did not check the "married but withhold at the higher, single rate" box on our W4 - is this correct? It's so outrageous and unfair that you can play by the rules and still get taxed hard. We're a young couple and don't exactly have that money lying around. Thanks for any help.
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We owe taxes after marking 0 on w4

You started off with your first W-2 and your refund look pretty good?  Then you added another W-2 and it stopped looking so good? That is normal.  When you added more income, your tax liability increased, so you saw your refund decrease.  The program begins by giving you your personal exemption of $4050 plus your standard deduction—both of which lowered your taxable income. So you are not being taxed on as much of the income on that first W-2.  Then you added taxable income--so the refund went down. Your refund (or tax due) is based on the total of your income, not “per W-2.”  Wait until you have entered ALL of your income and deduction information.  You can't really tell anything until it is all entered.  That “refund monitor” does not mean anything until everything has been entered.

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/2273878-why-did-my-refund-drop-when-i-entered-another-w-2

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**

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3 Replies

We owe taxes after marking 0 on w4

You started off with your first W-2 and your refund look pretty good?  Then you added another W-2 and it stopped looking so good? That is normal.  When you added more income, your tax liability increased, so you saw your refund decrease.  The program begins by giving you your personal exemption of $4050 plus your standard deduction—both of which lowered your taxable income. So you are not being taxed on as much of the income on that first W-2.  Then you added taxable income--so the refund went down. Your refund (or tax due) is based on the total of your income, not “per W-2.”  Wait until you have entered ALL of your income and deduction information.  You can't really tell anything until it is all entered.  That “refund monitor” does not mean anything until everything has been entered.

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/2273878-why-did-my-refund-drop-when-i-entered-another-w-2

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**

We owe taxes after marking 0 on w4

That can happen.  Many couples in your situation both (1) claim zero exemptions; (2) withhold at ther higher Single rate; and (3) have additional dollar amounts withheld.

http://fairmark.com/general-taxation/reference-room/2016-tax-rate-schedules/

We owe taxes after marking 0 on w4

Sadly the withholding tables are meant for a 1 income family and when you have move than 1 income the tables don't serve you well ... the worksheet on the W-4 tries to help you with the correct withholding but until you have dependents or a mortgage then you both really need to choose to withhold at the Single rate & zero allowances so you don't owe.
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