The average refund check from the Internal Revenue Service is at least 8 percent lower than this same time last year. According to the Huffington Post, the average refund check being paid this year is at $1,865 although it was $2,035 last year.
The decrease in the amount paid is the resulting from changes to the federal tax code pushed forward by President Trump. Considering these changes, the IRS had projected that about 2.3 percent fewer refunds would be issued than last year. However, the government shutdown has also affected the number and rate at which refunds are being sent out. In 2018, the IRS sent out 6.17 million refunds during the week of February 1 while it only sent out 4.67 million in 2019.
The delay and decrease in refunds are causing a lot of backlash amongst taxpayers, especially on those taking to Twitter to voice their complaints. Huffington Post also wrote that the current frustrations amongst taxpayers will likely fuel support for tax reform pushed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Her tax plan includes a 70 percent marginal tax rate on an annual income which exceeds $10 million a year. This plan is also largely opposed by most Republican representatives who were staunch supporters of Donald Trump’s tax reforms.
“There are going to be a lot of unhappy people over the next month. Taxpayers want a large refund.” -Edward Karl, American Institute of CPAs