April 15 is the deadline to file taxes but many people have already gotten a head start. Some people who have filed may have gotten less than what they were expecting. So far this year, the IRS reports the average refund in 2019 is $170 lower than last year. The average is around $1800 compared to last year’s average of slightly more than $2000. Some of the change is from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that went into effect last year. Mike Lawless, who is a tax expert, says most saw a change in their return because they saw more in their take-home pay. Lawless says the idea behind the tax reform was so that people wouldn’t have to wait till the end of the year to get their money. “One of the major things that can effect the refund is how much was withheld and there were some automatic changes in withholding back in February with tax reform to cause people’s withholding to go down,” Lawless said. Lawless says there are other things that people need to know when dealing with refunds. The IRS recommends going online and doing a paycheck check up, that allows you to calculate, based on your situation, the correct amount to be withheld.
Another is the decrease in standard deductions, Lawless says they almost doubled from 2018. That means fewer people were able to benefit from itemized deductions Lawless says business owners, including people who may drive Uber and Lyft, may see a positive effect from the changes. They could potentially see a 20 percent deduction in qualified business expenses.


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