If you haven't finished your taxes yet or are waiting on someone else to prepare them, don't be too surprised if the results are less than favorable. After our accountant in Hays completed our taxes and mailed the paperwork to us, we were dismayed to discover that a) Our federal tax refund was less than […]

If you haven't finished your taxes yet or are waitingon someone else to prepare them, don't be too surprised if the results are lessthan favorable.

After our accountant inHays completed our taxes and mailed the paperwork to us, we were dismayed todiscover that a) Our federal tax refund was less than $100; and, b) We owed theState of Kansas several hundred dollars. It's the smallest federal income tax refundwe've ever received and the first time that we've had to pay taxes to thestate.

There are reasons forboth.

First, let's look atthe state. You may recall that the legislature passed the largest tax increasein state history in June 2017. This was necessary to right the ship ofgovernment that had been slowly sinking due to the failed tax-cut experiment ofthen-Governor Sam Brownback.

Let me be clear: I don'thave a problem paying taxes to the State of Kansas, which, I believe, has abetter record of fiduciary responsibility than does the federal government. Onthe other hand, I'm not so keen on giving the federal government more of mymoney.

The reason that wereceived such a paltry refund from the feds this year is because we lost,according to our accountant, $8,200 in personal exemptions. Also, thewithholding tables changed last year, which means that less money was beingtaken out of everyone's paychecks than in 2018. That's not such a bad thing.For us, this means we'll have to do a better job of setting aside money fromeach paycheck, rather than relying upon our federal income tax refund to boostour savings.

'Each time theysimplify the tax code, I get more customers,' our accountant told me.

So, for most taxpayers,2019 will be an anticlimactic year when it comes to refunds. Hopefully, you won'tend up having to pay anything.