Every year that my wife and I have filed US income taxes jointly, we've either owed money at the end of the year or else we've received a tiny/insignificant refund. This year is no exception. Some people might be disappointed about this, preferring to get a nice refund each spring. I'd actually like to go to the other extreme and have no taxes withheld at all during the year, and have a huge bill each spring. That way I'd have complete control over the money until it came due.
Back when we had a mortgage, I asked our lender to stop holding property taxes in escrow for the same reason. Since then, we've paid the property tax bill out of our own pocket whenever it was owed. This was good practice for post-mortgage living because there's no option for escrow when the mortgage is gone.
In our case, the property tax bill is quite a bit smaller than the income tax bill, but the same level of discipline is required to plan and save for each tax expense. Unfortunately most people don't seem to have the necessary skills to withhold taxes on their own, because the US government (and most state governments) requires everyone to have a portion of each paycheck set aside for the end-of year reckoning. I suppose this makes perfect sense from the government's point of view. By withholding more than is needed and requiring people to file a return to get back any excess, the government has a much better chance of collecting the taxes it is owed.
Still, it would be nice to have the option to petition the government to stop year-round withholding (on a case-by-case basis) and settle up in a single transaction every April. I'd certainly apply for this if it was offered.
In the current low-interest-rate scenario, there isn't too much lost by sending prepayments on taxes to the government, but if rates were to rise to the levels we saw 15-25 years ago, it would be plausible to lose an opportunity to earn some decent interest from self-escrowed taxes.