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Average tax refunds are down 8.4% in the wake of Trump tax cuts

Key Points
  • The total number of returns received in the week ending Feb. 1, 16.04 million, was down 12.4 percent from the week that ended on Feb. 2, 2018, according to the IRS.
  • Only 13.31 million returns were processed, down 25.8 percent from the year before.
  • The average refund of $1,865 was 8.4 percent smaller than the average refund in the period last year.
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The first U.S. tax filing season under the overhaul that President Donald Trump signed into law at the end of 2017 got off to a slow start in the first week, with data released on Friday showing a significant drop in returns and refunds.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the total number of returns received in the week ending Feb. 1, 16.04 million, was down 12.4 percent from the week that ended on Feb. 2, 2018. Only 13.31 million returns were processed, down 25.8 percent from the year before. The average refund of $1,865 was 8.4 percent smaller than the average refund in the period last year.

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Here are your income tax changes for 2019

The partial government shutdown - at 35 days, the longest in U.S. history - ended three days before the tax filing season officially opened on Jan. 28. The final deadline is Apr. 15.

Republicans passed a $1.5 trillion tax overhaul in the final weeks of 2017 that cut rates for both individuals and corporations, giving fellow Republican Trump a major policy victory. Democrats had warned that the cuts and other changes in the overhaul would primarily benefit the country's wealthiest, and many are eager to see how it will affect average Americans.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement on Friday that the 2019 "filing season has successfully launched with millions of tax returns having been filed."

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Key Points
  • Some early filers took to Twitter to complain about owing taxes or receiving smaller refunds after submitting their 2018 tax returns.
  • As part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the IRS and Treasury adjusted the tax withholding tables, which affects the amount of income taxes withheld from your pay.
  • Be sure to review your return and your paycheck to ensure you’re withholding sufficient pay in 2019.