Questions and concerns surround IRS tax refunds

Questions and concerns surround IRS tax refunds
Across the country and here at home some taxpayers continue to be surprised by lower tax refunds than they expected. (Source: Scott Pace)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Across the country and here at home some taxpayers continue to be surprised by lower tax refunds than they expected.

The Internal Revenue Service points to inaction by about 20 percent of taxpayers to change their withholding level, on their W-4 form at work, when their taxes dropped and their paychecks rose.

Levet is the District General Manager for an ArkLaTex H&R Block.

"And by doing that instead of getting that money at the end of year in a refund, these individuals actually received that money throughout the year in their paycheck," explained Craig Levet.

He contends that inaction is the biggest reason for the 8.4 percent drop in refund amounts thus far.

According to the IRS About 28 percent of Americans don’t understand what changed with their taxes this year. Almost half have no idea how the changes affect their tax bracket.

Bossier City taxpayer Zachary Carlile said all this talk now about changing his withholding amount on his W-4 form is news to him.

"Whenever I heard the new tax laws and stuff like that I didn't realize that there was anything that I was supposed to be doing on my part that I can recall."

Many people count on that big refund check every year for that special family trip, or expense.

In Carlile's case, it was supposed to pay for home remodeling. That dream is gone, at least for this year because of his lower tax refund.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is responsible for reducing tax rates for individuals and businesses which has led to these tax return developments.

But that's not all the TCJA enacted. It also increased the standard deduction and family tax credits, but removing personal exemptions, making it more difficult to itemize deductions.

That includes limits on deductions for state, local and property taxes.

Levet suggests that if you're worried about your tax return have it done early. That way you'll know early on whether your refund is as much as you expected.

And if you owe money, Levet said it will give you some time to plan out the payments.

The IRS said if you do end up owing them money, don't panic. There are payment plans available if you can't pay your entire tax bill when you file your return.

Levet offered some advice to taxpayers. “The one thing I would tell them is you really got to understand where you want to be, right? You’ve got to understand what your intent is with the refund.”

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