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It's whether you itemized or not. If you didn't, then your refund was subsumed in the standard deduction. If you did, then you deducted what was withheld, not what was actually paid (owed). In the latter case, Uncle Sammy wants you to settle up. We have had discussions on this before; there is a degree of unfairness if your bracket changes from one year to another.

Hm, I am being unclear. If you itemize, your state taxes are deductible. You deduct your taxes withheld on Schedule A. But you may have had too much withheld by NY, and so you get a refund. Therefore, the refund goes back into the pot because you deducted too much. It's not a big deal, because it's better for the $9.75 an hour clerks to process your forms directly, than to figure out the details of what should have been paid. So Uncle Sammy gets it back next year, with the possible unfairness of the previous paragraph acknowledged.

<back on strike>
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