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Tax Refunds Are Smaller, and People Are Ticked

Average return is $1,865 under new tax code, down 8% from last year
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2019 1:40 PM CST
Updated Feb 16, 2019 2:00 PM CST
A 2017 photo of a 1040 tax form.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Newser) – The IRS is out with early numbers on tax refunds in 2019, and people hoping for a bump under the new tax changes are being unpleasantly surprised. In the first week of the filing season, the average refund was $1,865, down about 8% from last year's average of $2,035, reports Politico. That has left many wondering what happened to the "$4,000 raise" the White House promised families would receive under the tax overhaul. Short answer: People are confusing their refunds with their tax burden. Details:

  • An example: The Washington Post highlights the example of a middle-class New Jersey couple whose income didn't change but who received $3,000 less this year. “It totally feels like a scam,” says John Prugh. “I did still get a small refund, but compared to what I was expecting from previous years, it was shock.”
  • Feeling the same: NBC News notes that the hashtag #GOPTaxScam has surfaced, with people who have gotten decent refunds for years unhappy to discover that they're getting far less or are even required to pay.

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