Best Answer: No way to say. How much Federal income tax was withheld from the wages of each job? And how many miles were between 1/1/08 and 6/30/08 and how many were between 7/1/08 and 12/31/08? What is your filing status? Any dependents? If so, their ages and relationship to you and how long they lived in your home?
I don't know how much you would get back without knowing the tax rates for your state much less the rates at the time of the federal government, but as a financial planner, I can say that claiming zero on your tax forms so you can get more back at the end of the year is pretty ignorant.
Not to be offensive, but think about it. You're not pulling anything on the government that they aren't allowing. It's all your money anyway. They are just taking more per check then they would if you were claiming 2 or something.
This is generally how it works: the more they take out per check, the more you will get back. The less they take out, the smaller the refund. Here's an example (a completely made up number)
If you made $48,000 and you owed $1,100 in taxes. You opt for the zero on your claim form and they yank out $500 in taxes a month. That would have you paying $6,000 in a year. You would overpaid $4,900 for the year. Now lets say you opted instead for the $100 a month tax deduction because you claimed 2 or something, now you would only pay $1,200 in taxes. Now you only get a $100 refund, but also have an extra $400 a month in extra money per month. You might think I am getting the short end of the stick if I got that route, since I am only keeping $4,800 ($400 x 12), but remember that $100 refund. That still comes out to $4,900. Plus you get to keep the $4,800 during the year, and not at the end!
That yearly refund is your money anyway, your
simply giving the government an interest free loan. In times like this, how many people could use that extra bit of money per month, they struggle to make ends meet, but they get back $4,000 or $5,000 at the end of the year. Somehow they have then sense of "beating the system" every year. Like they pulled one on Uncle Sam. If they really did "pull one" on the IRS, that would be considered tax fraud.
Also think about this: when you got that money back, did you get any extra from the government, or did you get what you paid in back? Did you earn any interest from the government having your money? If you had that money and you invested it, or simply putting it into the bank at the very least, you could have made some money and had your money working for you. You could have made money from that money, or instead paid off or paid down some debt if you have any. Either way, you come out better off than when you started, and way better off than letting the government have more than they deserve.
I hear all of the time, that "so-and-so I know works for the IRS and they told me to get the biggest refund I could," or "bigger is better," but to me that's the blind leading the blind. It's simple. If your aim is to get the biggest refund possible, than the refund route is the way to go. If you want the most money earned possible, and the most return for your dollar, then claim more so you get more in your paycheck. Heck, even if you earn only and extra $30 from the bank in your "savings" account, that's more than you had, plus the extra $400 a month in your paychecks. Sure would rather have that than nothing at all, letting the IRS earn all of the interest off of your money, right.
Some free financial advice that you would pay a pretty penny for elsewhere.
Source(s): Common sense, former IRS worker, and current financial planner.