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<< Basically my wife is a part time worker who has no taxes taken out. So at the end of the year I have to figure out do I file us individually (she usually gets money back but I pay) or joint and then we pay.

Due to income changes this year I will probably have to file joint for 2000. I keep decreasing my exemptions and increasing my 401K and I still keep paying.

Now it's not like we're millionairs and I'm not trying to get money back. I'm trying to find the optimal exemption numbers so that I'm as close to 0 on the old 1040 as possible - nothing lost nothing gained. >>

Suggestion 1: Stope thinking about the balance due/refund number on your returns and start thinking about total tax. This is especially helpful in determining whether to file jointly or separately, but it also rids you of the delusion that money withheld during the year doesn't matter. (I'm referring here to your "nothing lost nothing gained" comment.)

Suggestion 2: There's been a ton of discussion here of how to calculate withholding allowances. Either scan through the threads or type "withholding" in the search box and enjoy.

Phil Marti
Tax Preparer
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