Received 3,300 last year, owe 250 this year. Why?


Hello all.

I would greatly appreciate some help making sense of this. Last year my wife and I received $3,300 back after filing our taxes (combined federal and state income tax returns).

This year, we made slightly more but owe $250 in taxes (once the state return is subtracted from the federal taxes owed).

I've attached an image to display the differences between this year and last year to see if maybe someone could spot something that I did wrong or forgot. Thank you.


  • catsknit35
    catsknit35 Member Newcomer

    You had higher income but you had much less tax withheld from your paycheck throughout the year. Did you change your W-4 at work to have less withheld?

  • darkside619
    darkside619 Member Newcomer

    Yes. Less was withheld because I changed my filling status to Married Filing Jointly whereas the previous year in my workplace portal my filing status was set to Single so more taxes were taken out of each paycheck. I figured that was the case but it's good to have a second opinion. Thank you.

  • MatthewD
    MatthewD FreeTaxUSA Team

    When you are filing Married Filing Joint, and both of you work, you need to make sure you complete the section on the W-4 for Two or more jobs. If you did not do that, you will fall short in many cases.