The average tax refund from the IRS has dropped 8.4 percent in the first week of the 2019 filing season after the first full-year under President Trump and the GOP’s 2017 tax law, according to agency statistics reported by Politico on Friday.
“There are going to be a lot of unhappy people over the next month,” Edward Karl, vice president of taxation for the American Institute of CPAs told Politico. “Taxpayers want a large refund.”
The recent five-week government shutdown, the longest shutdown in history, has also contributed to the decrease in refunds.
“Various factors could have played a part in the filing decrease so far, including the federal government shutdown that ended just three days before filing season opened Jan. 28,” the report said.
“The IRS had recalled previously furloughed workers during the closure to prepare, but thousands didn’t return when summoned and a backlog was expected to greet them when they did,” the report continued.
The IRS is encouraging workers to file early this year.
“IRS systems are operating smoothly to start the filing season, and refunds are being issued,” a statement said. “The IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file as the quickest way to receive their refunds.”
Unsurprisingly, many taxpayers have not been happy to discover that what they expected to be a decrease in taxes paid is actually an increase. Some have taken to Twitter to express their anger:
I am a Republican voter. I just did our taxes.
The @GOP tax bill cost my family THOUSANDS of dollars this year on our return due to changes, thereby hitting us with the LARGEST tax increase of our lives.
We are middle-class homeowners, and you raised our taxes.
— Dennis Jordan (@DennisMJordan) February 5, 2019
@realDonaldTrump I trusted and voted for you, now, screwed by you. I fall JUST above a tax bracket, I don't get the 5000 return I've gotten the last 3 years. Money my family depends on to start us over. I served my country honorably. I will not make the same mistake twice.
— Matt Davis (@MattDav72811123) January 30, 2019
2017 taxes = $5,408 refund …
Unchanged salary, unchanged withholding…
2018 taxes = $440 owed to the IRS.
— Michael K Richards (@_hesh_) February 4, 2019
@POTUS thank you for screwing the middle class with your tax reform. I have never in my life, I’m 49 years old, had to pay into the IRS until this year. We have a combined income of 150,000. The middle class voted for you. I will not make the same mistake twice.
— Joel Serbin (@JoelSerbin) February 4, 2019
Folks need to stop making fun of the middle class republicans who are only now finding out en masse that their taxes are going up. It’s hard for people to discount bald-faced lies when they are based on statistical manipilation. We need to be angry alongside them. This was wrong.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) February 5, 2019