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Taxpayers take to Twitter to voice frustration over tax refunds

Posted by: Zaher Fallahi
Posted On: Feb 09, 2019

Taxpayers take to Twitter to voice frustration over tax refunds

By: Michael Cohn

Published: Accounting Today

February 06 2019, 1:22pm EST


Taxpayers who ended up with unexpectedly large tax bills after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act have been tweeting their displeasure.

“I usually get back around 5k in tax refund,” wrote one Twitter user named WaterWhirled. “This year I owe 5k. Same income.”

“We are a middle class (possibly upper middle class depending on how you see things),” wrote another user named Alice. “Our taxes have gone up, and the refund is down 65%.”

“My oldest son, who works for the railroad, has ALWAYS gotten a refund,” wrote Katie Johnson. “This year, he got socked with a tax bill of $8000+. So, nope, not helping the middle class.”

The Tax Code overhaul that passed at the end of December 2017 did away with many popular deductions or sharply limited them while doubling the size of the standard deduction. The tax law also eliminated personal and dependent exemptions that have been in place for years. The Internal Revenue Service spent last year urging taxpayers to do a “paycheck checkup” with the help of its online withholding calculator so they could revise their W-4 forms and avoid a heavy tax bill. But many taxpayers are only becoming aware of the negative impact now that they are having their tax returns prepared after the IRS opened the filing season last week. Last July, the Government Accountability Office issued a report estimating that 21 percent of taxpayers, or approximately 30 million people, weren’t withholding enough taxes from their paychecks after the passage of the tax law.

During his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Trump devoted only a few sentences to the landmark tax law. “We passed a massive tax cut for working families and doubled the Child Tax Credit,” he said. “We have virtually ended the estate tax, or ‘Death Tax’ as it is called, for small businesses, ranches and family farms. We eliminated the very unpopular Obamacare individual mandate penalty.”

President Donald Trump delivering the State of the Union address, as Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi react.Photographer: Doug Mills/Pool via Bloomberg

While the tax overhaul was expected to have the biggest impact on high-tax “blue states” because of the $10,000 limit on the state and local tax deduction, taxpayers across the country are seeing the impact now that they’re preparing their tax returns. Even some Trump voters are feeling burned. “Thanks to @realDonaldTrump and @GOP tax bill, my family was just hit with the largest tax increase in our lives by them getting rid of itemized deductions like mortgage interest on federal taxes,” wrote Twitter user Dennis Jordan. “I’ve been a loyal conservative, voting Republican since I could vote. What a joke!”

Even some taxpayers who adjusted their withholdings last year are seeing unexpected results. “Last year I got a refund of $900,” wrote a Bernie Sanders supporter called North Shore Beacher. “I was worried about #TaxScam so I increased my federal witholding. This year, same tax bracket, same income, but I am only getting a refund of $74. Tax software tells me I paid less withholding this year.”

Another Twitter user received a much lower tax refund than usual. “Every year i got a decent refund on my taxes, this year a mere $100 which means i wont be putting money back into the economy, they took away all our deductions and gave them to the rich.”

Another taxpayer complained, “A refund that I have been getting for over 20+ years. Under your tax scam, I lost over $4k. I pay more state taxes, more sales tax, more money for groceries, gas, prescriptions, etc. Please explain how any of that equates to prosperity?!”

“That #TaxScam cost me $3000 from my tax refund this year,” wrote Sergio Bonilla. “Nice to know my bank was able to profit from it.”

Another taxpayer complained to Trump, “@realDonaldTrump your tax plan screwed over my middle-class family. My $3500 refund from last year is now SEVEN (7!) DOLLARS. I’m a nurse and work so hard and you STOLE from me. Shame on you” as she included an image from her tax software.

View image on Twitter

Florence Nightshade@florenceRN78



@realDonaldTrump your tax plan screwed over my middle-class family. My $3500 refund from last year is now SEVEN (7!) DOLLARS. I’m a nurse and work so hard and you STOLE from me. Shame on you #TaxScamStories


9:48 AM – Feb 6, 2019

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Not everybody is complaining about their tax refund, of course, and the TCJA is expected to cut taxes for the majority of taxpayers. One Twitter user, Charmaine, wrote, “my friend got her tax refund and hit me this morning like ‘let’s do whatever you want today idc [I don’t care] about the price, I’M RICH’ She is usually frugal as hell.”

Zaher Fallahi Certified Public Accountant (CPA) since 1983, is licensed in California and Washington D. C., and assists individuals and businesses with their Tax Returns .


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