Want a Bigger Paycheck? Cut your Tax Withholding

Rate information contained on this page may have changed. Please find latest savings rates.

We will discuss how taxpayers can increase their pay by decreasing their tax withholding.

Most Americans have too much taken from their paychecks each year. Why let the IRS hold your money interest-free? If you received or will receive a refund this year, we'll discuss how to reduce your withholding to receive a fatter paycheck...starting next pay day!

Generally, people pay taxes as they earn income during the year. Many taxpayers think about their withholding amounts only once a year – when they file their annual tax return. However, there are other times when reviewing one's withholding and making an adjustment can be advantageous, especially after a marriage, divorce, addition or loss of a dependent, or other certain life and career changes.  The amount that is withheld is determined by the way an employee completes a Form W-4 (Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate). Because each exemption decreases the amount of your withholding, it also increases the amount of pay you take home.

At tax time, withholding functions in two ways: If you do not pay enough through withholding, you will owe money, but if you pay more than enough, you get a refund. Ideally, you should pay near what you owe so you keep more of your money in your pocket throughout the year.

When it comes time to complete your tax return, withholdings from all sources are combined. This amount, combined with refundable credits, is used to offset your tax liability. If your withholding and refundable credit amount is greater than your taxes, you get a tax refund; if it is less, you have a balance due.

One way to ensure your withholding is accurate is to change your withholding when certain life events occur. For example, when a child is no longer eligible to be claimed as a dependent and the parent forgets to reduce the number of exemptions on their Form W-4, their tax liability increases and they could have a balance due at tax time.

Taxpayers who continue to work while receiving their retirement distributions may also end up without enough withholding. In the case of taxpayers with multiple jobs, if they do not adjust their Form W-4 for each job (considering their total income and withholding), they may find that the combined withholding from all of their jobs is too low, ultimately creating a balance due situation.

Most importantly, keep in mind that you can complete a new Form W-4 as often as necessary through your payroll department. There are tools available to help you evaluate your withholding, such as the IRS Withholding Calculator (at www.irs.gov), but if you are unsure how to claim withholdings or have questions about changing your withholding, speaking with a tax preparer can help you avoid surprises when you file an annual tax return.


Top Savings Rates Steady at 2% APY - Average Continues to Drift Lower

Rate information contained on this page may have changed. Please find latest savings rates.

Savings rates continue their slow drift down with the average dropping from 1.40% APY to 1.39% APY. Tthe top savings rate remained at 2% (ReadySaver.com from Southern Community Bank). Everbank also continued to offer their promo rate of 2.25% APY for the first three months on new money. After three months, the rate drops to 1.26% APY for a 1-year blended APY of 1.51%.

altSavings rates continue their slow drift down with the average dropping from 1.40% APY to 1.39% APY. Tthe top savings rate remained at 2% (ReadySaver.com from Southern Community Bank). Everbank also continued to offer their promo rate of 2.25% APY for the first three months on new money. After three months, the rate drops to 1.26% APY for a 1-year blended APY of 1.51%.

Other notable rates include Franklin Synergy Bank at 1.75% APY and EBSB at 1.67% APY.

Rate decreases from the previous week were:

  • Costco Capital One: 1.5% APR to 1.3% APY
  • Colorado Federal Savings Bank: 1.4% APR to 1.35% APR
  • Ally Bank: 1.30% APR to 1.29% APR

There were no rate increases on the BestCashCow savings rate table.

The table below shows the trend with savings rates as well as select rates. For savings, the trend is generally down.

TrendofSavingsRatesandCDRates

Compare the top savings rates.


Highest Savings Account Yet - 4.88%

Rate information contained on this page may have changed. Please find latest savings rates.

Wachovia is offering a savings account with a 4.88%. However there are quite a few quarks with the account.

I am always prowling for the highest interest rate, but I also know who I am (so I think thus far in my life). I have 15 accounts (including CDs, brokerage, checking, savings and money markets). I am risk adverse. I am scared of the stock market for now. So, in my hunt, I have found an internet savings account that is paying 4.88% APY.
                      
However, caveat emptor! There are so many bizarre intricacies with this account. One has to pay close attention. Wachovia has a savings account - calling it WAY2SAVE. This is not new, but in an effort to build up their reserves, they have begun to offer amazingly high rates.
 
There are numerous stipulations with this though. To begin, one must have a Wachovia checking account. Further, one can only ‘purposefully’ deposit $100.00 per month. One can set this up over the phone, by speaking to a bank representative or online. However, one cannot wantonly transfer money into this fund like other internet savings banks – yet one can transfer money out via the internet. To cancel the automatic savings plan, one must call or speak to some one at the bank.
 
There two other ways to add to this account (one dollar at a time). The first is by using your debit card. Each time one uses their debit card (from one’s Wachovia checking account); an extra dollar will be added and transferred to the WAY2SAVE account. This will show on the statement as a WAY2SAVE transfer and will aggregate the total transactions of the day (i.e. if you used your card three times, there will be one $3.00 transfer). Be careful, this is an amazingly easy way to overdraw one’s account! 
 
The second way is by electronic transactions out of your checking account. Every time a student loan payment, car insurance or direct debit is taken out of your account, a dollar is removed from checking and moved into savings. Here is the “trick” for those crazy people like myself. If one were to transfer $0.01 from the checking account to, say, another online savings account, one would also transfer (automatically) one dollar to the high yield WAY2SAVE. While this is an unbelievable grind, it is one way to reap $4.88% - which isn’t half bad (one dollar at a time!).