How to Find the Amount You Get Back from Taxes

Find the Amount You Get Back from Taxes

The average American gets back over $2,000 a year as a federal income tax refund, which they appreciate. Many Americans like getting a large refund and consider it their de facto savings account. Some purposely claim zero on their W-4 forms so that they will get back a larger refund. Of course, financial advisors suggest you don’t do this because you’re essentially giving the government an interest-free loan for the year. If you would like to consider adjusting your W-4 form to receive a smaller tax refund, you must first find the amount you get back from taxes so you don’t over-adjust and owe money.

How to Find the Amount You Get Back from Taxes

If you’d like to know how much you’re potentially going to get back from taxes, you can determine that by using an online calculator. Sure, you could try to do this manually, but since there are so many variables including many different deductions that you can claim, an online calculator works better.


You can utilize one of several online calculators to help you find the amount you get back from taxes. One such calculator is TurboTax’s Income Tax Calculator. To use this calculator, you’ll need to know a few basic financial facts such as your gross income, federal and state taxes withheld, your charitable contributions, interest paid on your home, property taxes paid, and student loan interest paid, etc. After adding in all the required information, you’ll see your expected tax refund.

If you’re not sure how to find the pertinent information, this sample paycheck walks you through each item on your paycheck and what it is. You will also need to gather the documents related to your mortgage, student loans, and property taxes.

How to Change Your W-4 Form

Once you find the amount you get back in taxes, you can decide if you want to adjust that amount. If you would like to change your W-4 form, you can do so by visiting your company’s payroll office. The Payroll Office will institute the changes you requested within one to two paychecks.

You may want to increase your dependents on your W-4 form, so you won’t have as much taken out for taxes each pay period. This means you’ll get a smaller tax refund, but you’ll also get a larger paycheck each pay period, which helps some people better manage their finances and pay their bills.

Final Thoughts

If you find the amount that you get back from taxes, you’re better able to determine if you should adjust your W-4 form. You may find that you’re having your employer withhold too much federal tax every paycheck. Once you adjust your W-4, you will have a larger paycheck and more money to use every pay period rather than one lump sum the government returns to you when you get your annual tax refund. Why not let this additional money work for you rather than letting the government use it interest-free for a year?

Read More

What You Should Know about the Payroll Tax

Budget Management: How to Pick the Right Budget for You

Don’t Forget about These Personal Budget Categories