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On My Radar...February 21, 2019: Lower Tax Returns

Updated: Mar 26, 2019

tax season 2019

Tax season is upon us. Cue the ominous music.

I wasn’t exactly sure how I would be affected by last year’s tax law changes, and now I’m scared to find out. Debt.com recently published a story about how many people are getting screwed this tax season. My words, not theirs.

According to the IRS, tax returns are down 8 percent this year. This is pissing a lot of people off for obvious reasons. Although having a small tax return can actually be a good thing because it means your employer isn’t withholding an excessive amount from your paychecks, many taxpayers still count on getting a big return this time of year. Tax returns can help people put money down on a house or car, pay off debt, or boost their savings. Cutting down on returns cuts down on those opportunities.

Changes to tax laws include alterations to withholding, adjustment of tax rates, raising standard deductions, and getting rid of some penalties and exemptions. All of these factors are contributing to dropping tax returns. Some people didn’t expect this to happen. In fact, those who were confident in Trump’s plan probably thought they would get a larger tax return than last year. Surprise, surprise - they were wrong.

If you’re like me and you haven’t started your taxes yet, I’d suggest that all of us just take a deep a breath together and bite the bullet. It’s better to file your tax return as soon as possible. This lessens the risk of tax identity theft and you’ll find out how much your return is worth sooner. I usually use TurboTax to file my return for free, but there are other free services out there if you prefer something different.

Good luck, and happy tax season.

On My Radar... posts let you explore the media that’s on my mind. I post fashion Radar posts on Tuesdays and finance Radar posts on Thursdays.

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