We're finishing up the tax forms. I guess we're a lot richer than I thought. First, the check that we received as an advance child tax credit payment, that was supposed to be part of what we get now as our child tax credit, turns out to be a complete gift. Since our allowable child tax credit was far higher than our tax itself, and since they subtract the advance check from the allowable amount before seeing how it compares to the tax itself, we still had a higher allowable amount than tax, and we got the credit for our entire tax. So the check wasn't an advance of something that we now no longer get. We get the full child tax credit we can take in addition to the advance check. We must be rich to be getting free child tax credit checks in addition to anything we get when we fill out our forms.
Second, they have these tax "credits" that they apply after they calculate the tax you allow. Any credit normally applies before the final tax owed. But these "credits" are listed among the payments. The additional child tax credit and the earned income credit are among these "payments". I don't remember ever having paid these, but they say they're payments. To clear up the confusion, they also refer to them as "credits", but it doesn't seem to me that they're credited from anything. They would better be called gifts. However, we all know that only rich people get free money from the government at tax time, and poor and middle class people are the ones who pay for those gifts. So we must be very rich, since this is a fair amount of money.
The end result is that our tax "refund" is very close to $300 less than our taxable income itself. Isn't that a little strange?. Our tax itself is almost $1500 less than our taxable income, so what is it that they're refunding? We must be rich to be getting such a high "refund" from tax we never paid.
The reality is that the Bush tax cuts do far more for the low end of taxpayers, particularly for families with children, than they do comparatively for the rich. They give flat-out gifts to people with lower income and merely collect a smaller percentage from people with middle and upper income (though the higher the income the lower percentage less than last year, even if the amount of the drop is more because the tax is more).
Something like this happened last year, too, but not to the same extent. Of course, New York State was another matter. We get a fair amount money "back" from the federal government that we never paid to begin with, but somehow New York still thought we make enough money to owe them something (and it was more than had been taken out of my paychecks). This year, however, even New York (with the highest tax burden of all 50 states) has joined the bandwagon, and we're getting more back than we paid (though not anywhere near as ridiculously high an amount as the federal "refund").