Surprises That Tax Us – I did not owe that last year! Too often we think our upcoming tax bill will be similar to the one last year. When it is not AND when it is a higher tax bill, the surprise can be problematic. Outlined here are some common areas that create these unpleasant surprises. Picture this; for the past few years you have picked up your tax return and have had a small but nice refund. Now imagine your surprise, when next year, you are required to send in a fairly big check to settle your tax bill.