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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Estimate Your 2012 Tax Refund in less than 5 Minutes...Broke Single Mom Alert!

Photo Credit The Vintage War Bride

Wouldn't it be nice to know how much your Federal income tax refund check might be, right now, or at least very, very soon? If you're anything like me, you count on your income tax refund every year to help pay off some bills, fix your car, upgrade the house or take a vacation. Or maybe you just like seeing your savings account multiply.

If you knew beforehand you could even create a budget and allocate the funds to be spent wisely as opposed to having no real plan and giving into the shopping bug when the money comes in? Hey I've been there, When you have that money and no set plan, pretty shoes and dresses and taking the kids away for a spur of the moment trip, seem like
great ideas.

For the past few years I have been using three different websites to calculate my income tax refunds. And they have given me a very close estimate, I'd say within a few hundred dollars, of what my Federal return actually ends up being. I have used it for family members as well and it has basically been the same across the board. 

When I get my estimate I sit down and make my plan. I make a budget and decide what I will be putting into my Emergency Fund, my vacation fund, what bills I will be paying and what I will have to spend on things we need around the house. Since I'm a budget Diva anyway :) This is never a lot of money.

Last year I earmarked $500 for a New to Me living room set  - and compared to brand new living room sets I was about $2,000 short - yet between the 4 piece leather set I scored and the delivery guy I used, I spent $340. Not too shabby eh? Anyway....

So where do you go to get started? (If they are still on 2011 this will change soon, but feel free to use it anyway, unless there are drastic Federal Tax law changes, the amount should be close to the same.)

The First one is the Turbo Tax Calculator.
It's the most user friendly in my opinion. Though I have never had a problem with any of these sites slowing down or freezing my laptop and honestly they are all very similar,

The two other calculators that you can use for your estimation can be found at TaxSlayer, and at Tax Brain

If you only have one job, and therefore one income, you can simply go to the website to enter your estimated annual wage and fill in the other information needed like your dependents ages and your household status to get your estimated refund.

If you have more than one income, have a child in college, have made donations in the last year, own stocks or a house then I suggest that you have certain information in front of you before you get started to be able to get the best approximation of your refund.

Last paystub(s) - or annual estimation
Amount of cash and non-cash donations
Child care expenses
College tuition payments
College Loan interest payments
Business income
Rental income
IRA contributions
Medical Expenses
Alimony payments
Mortgage and Real Estate interest payments

Also, there is no mandated sign up before you are able to use any of the sites above.

Just remember that the refund amounts given through the above mentioned websites are not a guarantee of your federal income tax refund amount, they are an estimate. There are always variables that may increase or reduce your actual final refund amount.

Here's to a hefty refund check!


Patrice said...

This is good-to-know information. I'll have to bookmark this post so I have the links to the websites when I'm ready to use them.

Wystan Dale said...

Cheers to Budget Moms! My wife actually uses at least 3 tax calculators. She compares them and gets their average until she gets the best estimate. It really is amazing how mothers and wives have perfected the art of budgeting, from simple weekly funds to income tax refunds.

Wystan Dale

Broke Single Mom said...

Thanks for commenting Patrice and Wynstan. I am glad to be of service to all like minded people in this world of surviving paycheck to paycheck. Cheers to your wife, sounds like a smart woman.

Kenneth Brett said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Srikanth k said...

I was just looking for something like this! Thanks for so much for sharing!.. | File your returns | TAX-IT-HERE

ratalu said...

Impressed a lot. I really like your blog.
Thanks for the post.
Income Tax Filing

ratalu said...

Impressed a lot. I really like your blog.
Thanks for the post.
Income Tax Filing

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