Originally Posted by HarryT
Thanks for the explanation, Taylor!
Actually, it is not always the employers or the systems fault and might be implied from other messages. The tax system in the US allows for deductions for charities, taxes paid to the state such a property tax, and interest charges, as well as others. The standard deduction taken by the employer is based on a user taking a standard deduction and not itemizing thus if you itemize you will get a refund. It is possible to tell you employer not to take so much out and thus equalize the deductions with the taxes but many people actually use the tax system as a forced savings plan (without interest) and allow the extra deductions to be taken out of their paycheck in order to get a refund. I know it is wasteful since their is no interest paid but many people still do it because it is easy.
This is different, of course, from the tax rebate being offered this year to attempt to stimulate the economy. Rebates like this one are taxable by the way so next year a tax will be paid.
You asked for facts and got a bunch of opinions but I thought you really needed the facts.