The average tax refund is down so far this year, according to IRS data covering the first week of the 2019 filing season. Last year, returns generated an average refund of $2,035, while this year the figure is $1,865, an 8.4 percent drop.
The number of returns is also down compared to last year, with 16,035,000 returns received in the first week, compared to 18,302,000 returns received in the same time period in 2018.
Accounting Today said Friday that some taxpayers were complaining this week on social media about their smaller-than-expect refunds – and in some cases, surprise tax bills. Tax professionals have warned that millions of people may have withheld too little this year in the wake of the new tax rules, potentially producing unforeseen obligations.
“There are going to be a lot of unhappy people over the next month,” Edward Karl, vice president of taxation for the American Institute of CPAs, told Politico’s Aaron Lorenzo.