“Why Is My Tax Return So Low?” Here’s What Could Affect Your Refund


Your tax refund is a big deal. If you’re like many, tax season is a time to look forward to getting extra cash. But with all the changes from tax reform, is it possible that you’d have a smaller tax refund or that you might owe this year?

Your 2018 tax return is the first one affected by the Tax Cut and Jobs Act — the largest change to tax law in more than 30 years. That said, you can expect some additional complexity in tackling this year’s taxes. However, with so many updates, you can’t really put a finger on one change that impacts refunds the most.

On the contrary, it’s the combination of several changes that will affect your overall outcome. To name a few, tax reform means new tax bracketschanges to itemized deductions, and an increased standard deduction. We cover these topics and much more in our Tax Reform Center.

Tax Refund Less Than Expected? Review the Details

Taking all the tax reform changes into consideration, H&R Block’s experts have determined that most taxpayers are expected to pay less tax. But you may have heard about tax refunds that are less than expected. Where’s the disconnect?

While each taxpayer’s situation is different, it’s important to remember the role that withholding can have on what you get back. Due to withholding changes in early 2018, some taxpayers began receiving larger paychecks, meaning they were paying less in tax as the year went on. For those taxpayers, that change could result in a smaller tax refund than expected—even if they paid less in tax overall.

Another thing to keep in mind is your own life changes. Did you get married, have children, or change jobs? These milestones or other personal changes can affect your taxes year over year. You may be eligible for certain credits or deductions this year that you didn’t qualify for in the past. Or the reverse may be true.

Let Block Help You Get the Most Money Back

If you are not sure why your tax refund was reduced, or the complexity around taxes has got you stressed, know that H&R Block is here to help. Fortunately, making sense of new tax laws is not new to us. We can help you file your taxes, check your withholding and understand your lower tax refund.

Plus, at Block you get:

  • Maximum Refund Guaranteed. No one gets you more than Block. Guaranteed.
  • Payment Plan Assistance. If you do owe the IRS, we can help set up an IRS payment plan for you.

Make an Appointment to speak with a Tax Pro today.

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