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Let’s Compare

With the new tax laws and government shutdown (just to name a few factors), it is time to compare this tax season to its prior.

Overall, we have seen a decline across the board. Fewer returns have been filed at this time than last year. Fewer returns have been processed as there were this time last year. Taxpayers have seen a decline in their tax refunds. The latter is due to changes in deductions, credits, and withholding tables.

The IRS and Intuit have also reported a decline in taxpayers e-filing on their own and using TurboTax. Interestingly enough the rates of declines were very close with the IRS seeing a drop of 3.2 percent and Intuit 3.5 percent. Does this mean more people are seeking tax professionals for aid in understanding the new tax laws? Maybe, but the season isn’t over yet and that is what the Treasury Department is stressing.

Yes, it is still early in the tax season but it is also worth noting that refunds should not be viewed as bonuses. Senator Chuck Grassley and Representative Kevin Brady stated, “the size of your tax refund has nothing to do with your overall tax bill. It merely reflects what you overpaid the IRS in your paychecks last year.” Nevertheless, refunds are mostly seen as bonuses.

Instead of spending your refund, taxpayers can partake in SaveYourRefund, a program for, you guessed it, saving your refund. You don’t have to save the whole refund, even just saving a bit will get you entered in the SaveYourRefund lottery were one can win $100.



You can find out more about how the Treasury Department feels here.

Find more data from Daniel Hood.

Learn more about saving from Howard Gleckman.