The IRS provides a simple online income tax calculator. They call it an “Estimator”. You will find it here. One could enter the following hypothetical data:
Married with two children, adjusted gross income $50,000, child care expenses $1,500, claiming just 2 of the 3 child care credits offered.
Then enter $1,800 as income tax withheld and click the button to see the result.
The tax due is calculated to be $2,439 but the government pays it all, and more. The “refund” turns out to be $2,131 which is $331 more than was withheld in the first place. It all happens through the magic of “tax credits” in excess of tax due.
I will say one thing for this system. As a method to spread the wealth it is very efficient. An increment of money is taken from those who pay taxes and given directly to those who don’t. Administrative costs for this Robin Hood plan are minimal. It also qualifies as stealth welfare. Voters do not think of the IRS as a source of income and net income from the IRS does not show up in the welfare statistics. well, perhaps it’s not welfare, our citizen was earning $50,000 a year.