Sorry I didn't post last night and tonight it I late again. I have been doing my taxes and a few close relatives taxes. I am glad to say that I am done with taxes for 2013! Everyone got something back for a refund. There are mixed views and philosophy's about refunds.
Everyone likes to see a refund. But many people believe that is not the best plan. When we overpay our taxes, the government uses that overpayment until the day that they return it with no interest.
On the other side of the swinging pendulum are the people that need to pay in every year. As long as you pay more in taxes than you did the year before, you won't get a penalty. But you do run the risk of being charged penalties and interest. You also need to come up with extra money in the spring of the year. That thought is never a pleasant one for me.
The perfect solution is to try to plan as close to zero as possible with a minimal refund and not owing anything. That would be easy to plan for if the politicians didn't wait until the last minute to publish the tax tables. Lately changes are made to the tax table throughout the year leaving "planning" to be close as not a very good idea.
I bounced it around a bit this year. With the publication of my book, I cashed in some of my 401K. I knew that the book publishing in the late portion of the year would leave a loss on the tax returns. The difficult thing will be seeing the gain this next year. I will be lucky if I don't need to pay in for 2014.