Tax refunds lower but residents paying less, experts say

The first tax filing season under the new federal tax law is proving to be surprising, confusing and concerning for some people in our community.

Posted: Feb 22, 2019 6:21 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- If you haven’t already filed your taxes this year, you may be in for a surprise: experts say most people are actually paying less taxes this year compared to last. 

However, depending on their situation, people's refunds could actually be less than they're used to.

The first tax filing season under the new federal tax law is proving to be surprising, confusing and concerning for some people in our community. Last year the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowered the tax withholding tables, meaning people would pay less taxes.

Tom Ames with Liberty Tax Service in Springfield says although it’s lower than usual, he isn’t too upset, although he would like to know what it’s being used for.

The Internal Revenue Service says so far the average refund is down almost 9 percent. Data show refunds averaged about $1,950 this year, almost $200 dollars less than last year.

Ames says if you want a larger tax refund, you can change your withholdings, so more money is taken out of your paycheck.

He wants to remind people that what's worked in the past may not get you the same return now.

Tax consultants say it’s easy to compare your refunds to your family and friends who have different living situations than you. But remember, you don’t know how much they've had withheld or how many deductions they've taken.

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