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What I need is advice on how to not be here next year with the same complaint. Beyond the obvious of reducing IB's exemptions to 0, what advice does Fooldom have to offer?

You mentioned a paid preparer did your taxes this year. You should ask this person for help to figure out the proper withholding for TY2002.

There are a bunch of withholding calculators available. Probably the best one is on the IRS web site:
http://www.irs.gov/faqs/display/0,,i1%3D54%26genericId%3D14807,00.html

Personally, I find the withholding calculators are too often inaccurate. I prefer to use last year's forms and instructions to run this year's numbers, and then I tinker with my withholding numbers to get my withholding to match my expected tax liability. It's a nuisance to run the numbers again and again, but it helps to avoid surprises.

Remember to include all your income when you figure your withholding. This past year, I just plain forget to include one income source in my withholding calculations, and I got a rude surprise when I figured my taxes. It was pure stupidity that I could have avoided if I'd just been careful.

David Jacobs
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