Feb 25 2013

Filing our taxes for 2012 and looking ahead for this year

I finally finished our taxes this weekend, using Turbo Tax online as I have for the last few years. I saved $20 or so by clicking through our account with Vanguard first.

This year, I added tax info as I received it and did a little at a time, rather than a marathon tax filing session.

We are in the small group of Americans who can’t actually file their return just yet — our Mortgage Credit Certificate was one of the forms that was delayed this year (worth the wait though, because that credit alone was worth $1,032 or so this year to us!).

So, I’m hoping we’ll see our refund sometime in March? No idea. Turbo Tax has our forms in the queue and they’ll be submitted once the IRS will allow it.

The refund was a bit larger than I had hoped for. We try to keep it to around $1,000 or less, because we’d rather have the money rolling in steadily with each paycheck than have a big lump.

For one thing, my blog income was less than last year, and I had too much tax withheld because I didn’t want to have to owe a bunch and pay penalties on that. Bummer about my blog income dying, but I am not interested in running sponsored posts and I doubt you’d want to read them here.

Since the government is getting an interest-free loan on my money and I don’t know when we’ll see it for sure, we increased our exemptions on the W4 form.

We’re having less tax taken out of Shane’s paychecks now, and I’ll run the W4 calculator again in a few months to make sure we’re still on track for a $1k refund give or take.

I’d like to use the refund to fill up Shane’s Health Savings Account. We haven’t opened one yet, since I’m still looking at our options. Most of the ones I’ve seen so far have a minimum that your account balance needs to reach, or they’ll assess a monthly fee. No thanks. The money can stay in savings until we can avoid those fees.

The HSA will reduce our income tax liability for the year. It can also grow if we can invest it in decent options (I’m hoping to find something beyond a CD or money market. Barf!). The money will be there for large medical expenses (right now, Shane and the kids have a deductible of $5k — eep!). And if we don’t use the money, it can roll over year after year. Some people contribute every year, but pay for medical expenses out of other funds. They intend to use the HSA as a medical account during retirement (perhaps early retirement?) and I think that’s a cool idea.

How about you? Taxes filed? If you’re getting a refund, what are your plans for it? Do you have an HSA?

5 Responses to “Filing our taxes for 2012 and looking ahead for this year”

  1. We haven’t done our taxes yet but plan on doing so this week. We will be getting money back and it’s all going towards student loans!

  2. I filed ours in February and already received a refund. I was stunned that my second job did not take out ANY federal tax. Blah. So my refund was less. I used the refund to pay off a small store credit card. I don’t have an HSA but I really want one. I don’t really want the money coming out of my paycheck though—we already struggle as it is.

  3. Filed mine earlier this month, but I’ll have to do an amendment because of a delay on my student status last year. Thankfully, that particular tax break would only be about $100 or so.. and since I’m still looking for a job I needed the refund a little bit faster.

    Sadly most of it is going straight to small fund that I have specifically for car payments and car insurance. It’ll tide me over in case I can’t find a decent job before the next car insurance payment is due in June. :/

  4. I did our taxes this weekend, but because of a particular circumstance, we can’t efile, so who knows when our refund will come.

    Our refund isn’t much, but we’ll just toss it into savings to replenish after an expensive month – new computer and printer, tires, and dining room table! I joke that I had to spend $90 on a printer to print my return and get my $400 refund (the printer did die while I was doing our taxes, but that’s not the only reason we replaced it!)

    We have and HSA through my husband’s work where we are covered by a high deductible plan. They contribute $600 to it and then we fully funded it last year and plan to this year. Our financial adviser recommended funding that over a Roth IRA since it can be used for healthcare or retirement.

  5. I haven’t filed the taxes yet. I am actually still waiting on a document so couldn’t even if I had it done. That being said, I usually take an extension anyway so I don’t feel rushed.

    I do have an HSA and have been fairly conservative with it with half in cash, 25% in a money market and the rest in a small company stock mutual fund which was up 16% last year. My overall return is just under 5%. I probably should be a little more aggressive with it so plan to move more into the market gradually this year.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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