Why is your tax refund lower this year? A local tax expert explains

Tax experts recommend you get your taxes filed sooner rather than later. That's because this tax season is more complicated than year's past.

Posted: Feb 12, 2019 2:13 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- Tax experts recommend you get your taxes filed sooner rather than later. That's because this tax season is more complicated than year's past.

This Friday marks the end of temporary funding for agencies impacted by the previous government shutdown. If a compromise isn't reached, we may be in for another shutdown.

Stadler and Company, a local tax service, says they really haven't had a rush of people just yet to file their taxes. But, they say you should get them filed soon.

Most, if not everyone, should have received their W2 forms in the mail. As you fill out taxes this year, tax experts say you could potentially wait a little longer to get your money back. Regardless of the last government shutdown, tax experts say you should continue to file your taxes like you normally would.

"We are still going to go ahead and get refunds processed if they are filed electronically," said Joe Coonce, a manager at Stadler and Company. "So, we certainly encourage people to file electronically."

Coonce says the people that could be waiting on their returns the longest are people receiving credits like the child tax credit, education credit or earned income credit. Those have all been delayed by the IRS until at least February 27. And, if another shutdown happens, that date could be pushed back even more. 

Tax experts say your tax refunds this year will be less or you could owe money.

Coonce says your refund could be lower this year for multiple reasons. One reason includes changes in the law. That could be local income tax deductions and or if you have a new limit on property. Refunds can also be smaller this year because the IRS has changed the way they withhold in pay checks. 

Withholding tables were changed so that people received more money in their paychecks during the year. Another tax code change impacted the child tax credit. People who can use this credit were given $1,000 per child. Now, they'll receive $2,000 per child. 

"People have received more money back when they have worked the entire year," Coonce said. "The refund may not be as much as it has been in the past. But, for most taxpayers it will be a benefit to them."

If you have any questions about filing your taxes, contact a local tax preparer or the IRS.

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