Personal Finance

Tax Refund substantially lower than prior year?

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 6th, 2019 10:45 am
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 7, 2012
73 posts
28 upvotes
VANCOUVER

Tax Refund substantially lower than prior year?

I live in BC and I made almost exactly the same amount in 2018 as I did in 2017. Literally nothing in my filing has changed since the year prior. However, my refund is %75 less than it was last year. I use turbo tax - the free version as my taxes are very simple. Can anybody explain why this would be? Thanks!
16 replies
Deal Addict
Aug 20, 2007
1854 posts
611 upvotes
Kitchener
It could be this or it could be that.....
Member
Jul 25, 2008
360 posts
229 upvotes
ottawa
yeah, if literally nothing in your filing has changed, that's odd.

go line by line if you have your last year's return. You might be missing a credit somewhere.
Sr. Member
Mar 3, 2018
861 posts
627 upvotes
GTA
Start with matching line by line the income reported and deductions taken between this year and last year. You may have missed a deduction or tax credit.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Aug 20, 2012
11934 posts
1708 upvotes
Pacific Ocean
SantaCruz wrote:
Mar 3rd, 2019 9:23 pm
I live in BC and I made almost exactly the same amount in 2018 as I did in 2017. Literally nothing in my filing has changed since the year prior. However, my refund is %75 less than it was last year. I use turbo tax - the free version as my taxes are very simple. Can anybody explain why this would be? Thanks!
Odd, there is the new climate action (refundable) tax credit new this yr for all provinces. Shud be getting more even if just a few dollars. Then again the credit decreases with rise in income. Depending what you make might not make a difference anyway. A single individual with zero income can get $154 in ontario. Fam of 4 can get like $310 max. Go check BC's rates.
If the glove don't fit you must acquit! #WINNING
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 7, 2012
73 posts
28 upvotes
VANCOUVER
I just use the turbo tax. Every year, I literally just put in the information they request from my T4. So the program does the deductions. I'm not sure how I could have missed a deduction since I just let the program do it. I file single and I am not a tax savvy person at all, so I've always just done it this way and it's been okay in the past, but yeah this year is a huge difference.
Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2009
4324 posts
1378 upvotes
If you were a student before, it's possible that you had unused credits that were finally used up last year and now you have no credits to use against income.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jul 17, 2008
9166 posts
2170 upvotes
Check with studio tax. The big thing is if you had tuition credits if you were a recently new gradute in the past few years. Did work witheld the same amount of taxes?

Easiest way is to compare line by line from last year
Deal Fanatic
Nov 24, 2013
5572 posts
2176 upvotes
Kingston, ON
aznnorth wrote:
Mar 3rd, 2019 10:04 pm
Odd, there is the new climate action (refundable) tax credit new this yr for all provinces. Shud be getting more even if just a few dollars. Then again the credit decreases with rise in income. Depending what you make might not make a difference anyway. A single individual with zero income can get $154 in ontario. Fam of 4 can get like $310 max. Go check BC's rates.
Not for all provinces, and definitely not for BC.
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
21870 posts
2446 upvotes
Montreal
peelhic wrote:
Mar 3rd, 2019 9:46 pm
It could be this or it could be that.....
Black sheep?
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2007
2094 posts
1425 upvotes
SW Ontario
SantaCruz wrote:
Mar 3rd, 2019 9:23 pm
I live in BC and I made almost exactly the same amount in 2018 as I did in 2017. Literally nothing in my filing has changed since the year prior. However, my refund is %75 less than it was last year. I use turbo tax - the free version as my taxes are very simple. Can anybody explain why this would be? Thanks!
I would personally go use another filing program and compare the two results. Even if it costs you a few bucks for the second, the potential return loss outweighs the costs ... glitch in TurboTax???
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2011
3262 posts
983 upvotes
Ottawa
SantaCruz, as others have said, it's a good idea to do the line-by-line review. This will tell you what is different between the two years. You really need to have a basic understanding of your taxes, and if you just have a T4 and a simple return, all the easier. It will help in future to know these things :)
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 18, 2007
3446 posts
489 upvotes
Valleywood
Assuming that your 2017 and 2018 T4s have similar amounts, including taxes deducted, something must have been missed by TurboTax.

Did it correctly claim the Canada Employment amount of $1195 on line 363?
Member
Sep 9, 2012
372 posts
119 upvotes
TORONTO
Perhaps we're focused on the wrong item here.

OP - did you pay the same in income tax, CPP, EI, etc., over the two years?
Perhaps you overpaid one of those in 2017, but in 2018 the correct amount was withheld (thus no need for an as large refund).
Penalty Box
User avatar
Jun 24, 2015
2299 posts
470 upvotes
Woodbridge, ON
you may have made the same amount of money, but deductions for 2017 and 2018 have changed, so you would have more tax deductions on your 2018 paychecks for the same amount of money you would in 2017. so in the end, your deductions lower your refund.
Hi

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