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Taxpayers could be in for an unwelcome surprise under new tax law

Posted: 5:39 PM, Feb 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-15 23:39:14Z

Taxpayers could be in for an unwelcome surprise. The IRS is seeing an average 8 percent decrease in refunds this year due to the new tax law.

The IRS says the average American is getting $170 less in their tax return than they did the year before. However, that doesn't necessarily mean you're paying more in taxes.

Like many Americans, Jose Gonzalez and his family of Milwaukee are banking on a big refund.

"I will expect the same amount, if not, then we might have a little bit of a problem," he said.

Gonzalez works two jobs and is hoping his tax return is enough to buy a car.

"We've been having a couple troubles with the different vehicles we have so I really want to get something solid for us," he said.

Karen Tolliver at H & R Block has met with plenty of customers like Gonzales who don't know what to expect.

That's because a new federal tax law was approved last year. It means tax rates have lowered for many taxpayers and the standard deduction has doubled for most.

"You might have seen more of your take home pay," Tolliver said.

Altogether, Tolliver said if your situation is similar to the year before, you're likely paying less in overall federal taxes even though you may not have as big of a refund.

Gonzalez was disappointed to find out his tax return was about $1,500 less than last year.

"I know I'm missing out on at least some good household supplies and some stuff we had planned that I wanted to get done, but I guess it will wait," he said.

If you're good at saving, tax experts believe you're best off getting your refund as close to zero dollars as possible because that means you're getting your money up front.