Q:

Is there a way to estimate your refund before doing your taxes?

A:

Quick Answer

TurboTax's TaxCaster online calculator allows taxpayers to estimate their federal tax refunds by entering personal information, income information, and information about deductions, credits and tax payments. Several other companies, including H&R Block and Taxbrain, provide similar, high-quality services, according to Heavy.

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Full Answer

To use the TaxCaster calculator, taxpayers enter details about their marital status and indicate whether they are the head of the household in order to determine their filing status, explains TurboTax. The application also asks for details about the taxpayer's age and dependants. The application also requires information about the taxpayer's wages, unemployment income and withholding payments as well as details of other income sources, such as interest, dividends, capital gains, pension payments and alimony. The site allows users to account for business income and losses as well. Then, using details about an individual's family, education, household, charitable and other expenses, the site provides an estimate of the taxpayer's tax refund as well his marginal tax rate.

Taxbrain’s tax calculator accommodates more user-specific information, explains Heavy. The company's website allows users to provide information such as the ages of their children and their children's health care coverage as well as any moving expenses, self employment health insurance deductions, student loan interest and miscellaneous expenses.

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