Under Trump's New Tax Code, The Average Refund Is 8.4% Smaller

by Valerie Williams
Image via SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Millions of Americans are about to watch their tax refund shrink under Trump’s new code — some already have

Now that President Trump’s new tax code is in place, millions of Americans are discovering that it’s not exactly panning out for them the way he and the rest of the GOP promised. The IRS confirms the buzz that tax refunds seem a bit low this year by releasing a report showing that the average refund is 8.4 percent lower than last year, dropping from $2,000 last year to $1,865 this year.

Not only are returns lower than usual, it also seems that people are dragging their feet filing their taxes — possibly because they’re suspecting it won’t be super great news? Returns are currently down 12.4 percent compared to last year. Now, disgruntled citizens are taking to Twitter using the hashtag #GOPTaxScam to vent their frustration at being screwed over.

It was the December 2017 overhaul to the existing tax code, enacted by the Trump administration without a single Democratic vote, to blame for the changes to this year’s filings. Changes to the tax laws that are resulting in lower refunds include a new limit on property and local income tax deduction among many other factors. It’s kind of confusing, but a number of American families are in for a rude awakening when they file this year. The ones that already have are definitely not thrilled.

Trump voters are like, extremely upset.

The changes are hitting real families and it’s not a fun surprise. Sal Ramirez, a 20-year-old packaging designer in San Gabriel Valley, CA tells The Washington Post about the impact the surprise change had on his refund this year. “I am really frustrated with my refund this year. I was expecting good chunk of change. I was going to put it toward buying a car,” he says. Last year, he received $1,200 for his refund and this year, only $900. He says he will have to wait a little longer on buying that car.

According to NBC News, the Trump tax changes came with a promise that families “would get a $4,000 raise” while pushing for the new laws to go into effect. Howard Gleckman, senior fellow at the Urban Brookings Tax Policy Center, says that it’s not really about the refund, but about the taxes a family pays. “Americans are obsessed with their refunds. What really matters is whether your taxes went up or down, not whether your refund went down,” he states.

He also realizes that early filers, which is all the data available at this point, are probably needing and counting on that refund check for their financial situation. “The people who file early are the people who generally count on these refunds. They may have an expectation of higher refunds,” he says.

Trump’s plan meant rates were cut for individuals — and corporations. The Government Accountability Office says that 4.6 million fewer filers would receive refunds this year while another 4.6 million would probably owe money when they hadn’t in the past. Basically, this “overhaul” is turning out to be a huge broken promise from a man who’s probably never kept one in his life.

Let’s just hope those losing money this year remember it at the polls next year.