TurboTax HelpTurboTax HelpIntuit

Why did my refund drop when I entered a second W-2?

SOLVEDby TurboTax2586Updated February 22, 2023

Most people see their refund go down, sometimes by a lot, after entering a second W-2. This is partly because you only get to claim the Standard Deduction once, regardless of the number of W-2s.

If you're Married Filing Jointly, you'll see the Standard Deduction of $25,100 with the first W-2 you enter, but no further deduction after adding the second W-2.

You can check our refund calculator to estimate your refund based on all your W-2s. You may also want to check the witholding amount on your W-4 for all your employers.

Example: You have two W-2s from two different employers with identical amounts: each has $16,000 in wages and $1,600 in federal withholdings. Your gross income for the year is $32,000, with total withholdings of $3,200.

After you enter your first W-2, we subtract the single filer Standard Deduction ($12,550) from your wages ($16,000) for a total taxable income of $3,450. This puts you in the lowest tax bracket (10%). We subtract the $345 tax from the $1,600 withholding, and you see a $1,255 refund in the Refund Monitor.

After entering your second W-2, your gross income increased to $32,000, but the Standard Deduction of $12,550 remained the same. Your taxable income (gross income minus the Standard Deduction) increased to $19,450, which also bumped you up to the 12% tax bracket. The tax on $19,450 for a single filer is $2,135. Subtracted from the $3,200 withholdings, your refund should be $1,065.

Was this helpful?

You must sign in to vote, reply, or post
Dynamic AdsDynamic Ads