Report: Number of Tax Refunds Drop By Almost 25 Percent

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Anecdotes about minuscule refunds and unexpected tax bills are beginning to trickle into news reports and while those could be an indication of widespread shock or disappointment, the Washington Post can tell us something a little more quantifiable.

According to the post, the average tax refund has dropped by 8 percent and the number of people receiving a refund has dropped by almost 25 percent at this point in the filing season.

While the vast majority of Americans received a tax cut in 2018, refunds are a different matter. Some refunds have decreased because of changes in the law, such as a new limit on property and local income tax deductions, and some have decreased because of how the IRS has altered withholding in paychecks. [...]

The average tax refund check is down 8 percent ($170) this year compared to last, the IRS reported Friday, and the number of people receiving a refund so far has dropped by almost a quarter.

Early data can shift a lot, tax experts say, but there’s reason to believe frustrations could rise as more Americans complete their tax returns. The Government Accountability Office warned last summer that the number of tax filers who receive refunds was likely to drop for the 2018 tax year, while the number of filers who owe money would rise.

At the end of the day, the real reason this is happening is because Republicans rewrote sections of the tax code to facilitate an enormous transfer of wealth to the top of the economic ladder; to redistribute wealth to the richest people in the world.

Republicans funneled the vast majority of their $1.5 trillion tax cut into the pockets of corporate executives and wealthy shareholders, not average Americans or even the average employees of the same corporations who've benefited the most from Republican redistribution.

Corporations have used to their tax cuts to pump up the value of their own stocks through buybacks and dividend payments that don't benefit the vast majority of Americans who are not shareholders. At the same time, corporations who've benefited the most -- banks and telecommunications companies -- have cut tens of thousands of jobs.

It's all there in black and white and Democrats can make the case for recovering this theft in 2020.

  • muselet

    Unfortunately, all too many taxpayers who are (rightly) feeling hard done by will blame Washington and politicians for their plight, rather than single out the Rs.


  • katanahamon

    Well, sure, those trips to Mar a Lago, troops for the border, government shutdowns, tariffs, immigrant internment camps, rallies, new low yield nukes, emoluments violations and tax giveaways to the rich aren’t going to pay for themselves!