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IRS Reports $4.4B Decrease in Refunds During Recent Tax Season

Ruth Singleton
Published Date:
Apr 29, 2019

The IRS announced that the total amount of tax refunds in the recent tax season decreased by $4.4 billion, from $265.326 billion to $260.919 billion, a 1.7 percent decline, according to Accounting Today. The average amount of each individual refund decreased by 2 percent, from $2,780 to $2,725.

The total number of individual returns filed this year was 137,233,000, up by 0.2 percent from last year's 136,919,000. The total number of refunds increased by 0.3 percent, from 95,434,000 to 95,737,000.

This was the first tax season in which the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was in effect. That law eliminated the personal and dependent exemptions and limited state and local tax deductions to $10,000. Because many taxpayers did not adjust their withholdings by using the IRS's online withholding calculator, they had too little withheld, according to Accounting Today. Thus, many taxpayers ended up owing more money than they expected or getting a lower tax refund than anticipated. In addition, while the vast majority of taxpayers had their taxes reduced last year, many of them didn't notice the difference in their paychecks.

The IRS is urging taxpayers to check their withholdings now that tax season is over. But it may be a good idea to wait until next month, when the IRS plans to issue a newly revised Form W-4.

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