Americans Getting Fewer and Smaller Refunds Despite Tax Reform

Well, this is going to make a lot of people very angry.

With roughly 10% of personal tax returns filed, it appears that fewer Americans will receive refunds, and those that do will get less money back. So far, refunds are running about 8% below last year.

We can blame it on the tax reform, but not for the reason you might think.  Last year’s tax changes gave more than 60% of Americans a tax break, while requiring higher payments from about 6%.  But along with tax reform, we also got updated tax withholding tables, so most workers had most of their tax savings reflected in their weekly paychecks, leaving less to be refunded at tax time.

While the math will show that workers are better off under the new tax structure, smaller refunds will still hurt.  Many families use them as de facto savings plans, and retailers from automakers to home renovation companies rely on them to fund spending every spring.

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