The average tax refund is just $4 higher than a year ago after the sixth week of filing season, the Internal Revenue Service reported Thursday.
The average tax refund issued so far is $3,008 for the week ending March 8, up 0.1 percent from $3,004 at the same time last year. The IRS has issued nearly 53.5 million total refunds, down 1.84 million – or 3.3 percent – from last year.
The agency has processed 65.3 million returns, about 2.8 percent fewer versus last year at this time. The IRS has received 67.7 million returns in total. It expects to get 150 million returns for the year.
There’s still a month left of tax filing season. Most taxpayers have until April 15 to file their returns, or file for an extension until October.
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New law, new withholdings
This marks the first tax-filing season since the new tax law went into effect. The changes should reduce the tax liability for most Americans. About 80 percent of taxpayers are forecast to see lower taxes, while only 5 percent are expected to pay more, according to an analysis from the Tax Policy Center.
If you didn’t change your paycheck withholdings during the year, it’s likely you saw much of your tax savings during the year in your paychecks – shrinking or eliminating your tax refund this year. In some cases, you may end up owing the government because too little was withheld during the year.
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If you’re unhappy with how your taxes turned out this year, request a new W-4 from your employer to adjust your paycheck withholdings and avoid any unpleasant surprises next year.
The IRS offers a calculator to help you determine how much in federal tax should be taken out from each paycheck. Have your most recent pay stub from work and your 2018 tax returns handy to use the tool.
It’s tax time again. In your rush to get your taxes done, don’t make these six mistakes. Josmar Taveras, USA TODAY