I retired from my job of 21 years in December of 2014. It was about eight months earlier than I planned to retire, but I got so sick of the bullshit that flowed out of the director’s office on a day to day basis, I decided that the 12% I would lose off my retirement was a good investment in me, so I left. For the next eight months I lived off about half of what I was used to having come in, so I had to borrow against my home equity line of credit to make ends meet. Again, good investment in me, because I wasn’t working anymore.
Eight months after I retired, I began drawing my Army retirement, which really beefed up my bank account every month. I was making about $100 a month less than I had been when I retired. Minimal interruptions in my life, since I wasn’t commuting back and forth to work. My need for gasoline dropped dramatically and that almost made up for half of what I wasn’t making in actual retirement pay. So, needless to say, I was in a good place both physically, mentally, financially and pretty much every way I could be.
Last August I started drawing my Social Security. With the orange nightmare in the White House, I was honestly afraid that it might not be around if I waited until I was 67½ to draw the full benefit, so I opted for the lower benefit at age 62. This money was simply gravy, and I have been very comfortable since that kicked in.
Fast forward to that dark day in December when Paul Ryan and the rest of the Republican assholes passed that scam of a tax plan, giving huge tax cuts and breaks to the ultra rich, and the likes of me bearing the brunt of the cost of that plan.
All three of my retirements are exempt from state taxes. NY State does not tax Social Security, nor do they touch any money that military or military retirees make. Also, my contributions to retirement were made on a pre-tax basis for Federal purposes, but NY state collected taxes on it as I earned it so, they’ve already gotten their due from my civil service retirement.
When I set up the military retirement in August of 2015 I voluntarily went to an additional $15 of Federal withholding each month, just in case. Social Security does not allow for Federal withholding and there are about six hundred hoops to jump through to change withholding on my NYS retirement. At the end of 2015, I upped my additional Federal withholding to $39 in anticipation of an increase in income with Social Security starting up, just in case. I am claiming single, with zero exemptions, and an additional $39 in withholding. That’s an additional $468 in withholding for the mathematically challenged.
I started my tax return two weeks ago. With only four months of “additional income” for social security, I OWE $1,012 in Federal taxes. I OWE that much. It would seem that the new tax tables are already in effect for this new tax scam that was passed in December, and the vast majority of us middle-class chumps are going to get fucked financially.
I did the only thing I could do. With all three retirements, I got a small cost of living raise, totaling $88 between the three pensions. I’m now having THAT voluntarily withheld as well. I am not hopeful that I won’t have to pay Federal taxes at the end of this year, as I will draw an entire year’s worth of social security along with the other two retirements. $1524 in extra withholding, and I’m not hopeful for next January.
Here are your withholding tables, in two parts:
See, here’s the thing – with each monthly retirement check, I make an amount on the second line. So, let’s say I make $1,500 in each check. The Federal withholding would be $79.40 plus $47.76 (12% of anything over $1,102) for a total of $127.16 each month. This figure represents only EIGHT PERCENT total withholding on $1,500 per month. The problem with this is that, $1,500 annually is $18,000 a year which is subject to TWELVE percent tax rate under this new plan. So, already you’re in a deficit if you are single with no dependents. Yes, the standard deduction for that single, kidless person is $12,000 for an adjusted income of $6,000 and, while that puts the taxpayer in a lower bracket, it’s still a bracket of TEN PERCENT, so that individual is having 2% less withholding taken out and will owe taxes at the end of the year.
I am in the 38,701 to $82,500 bracket under this new plan which makes my tax burden 22%. At my current level of withholding (12% plus the additional $88), I am still looking at having to pay another $7,300+ in addition to my Federal withholding.
DON’T just trust that your withholding will take care of your tax liability. If you aren’t getting at least 12% withheld, you’re going to end up writing a check to the IRS in April.
So tired of all this winning.