This year’s tax season will be watched with a sharper and more partisan eye. The public has worried about how the Internal Revenue Service will be affected by the government shutdown. This is also the first full year that Donald Trump’s tax plan has been in place.
The early returns have not been positive. The internet has been flooded with messages from Trump supporters who owe much more money than they expected. Now, the latest data from the IRS shows that refunds are down 8.4% from this point last year.
According to the agency, the average refund is down from $2,035 to $1,865. Congressman, Kevin Brady (R-TX), who wrote the tax plans, said that refunds should be similar to previous years.
The amount of people filing has also gone down. This was expected after the confusion of the shutdown. The IRS encouraged taxpayers to file in a statement that read, “IRS systems are operating smoothly to start the filing season, and refunds are being issued. The IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file as the quickest way to receive their refunds.”
Due to a number of changes in the tax code, Americans who haven’t had a change in income may be getting a lesser refund. Howard Gleckman, of the Brookings Institute, says, “The people who file early are the people who generally count on these refunds. They may have an expectation of higher refunds. These taxpayers, especially those who hold down multiple jobs, could be in for a rude awakening.”