Answers to worries about tax reform, refund size and refund delays for Memphis taxpayers

January 28, 2019 : Kathy Echols

Ready or not, tax season is here and this year is going to present unique challenges. From tax reform to refund delays and big swings in refund size, it’s going to take some work for people to untangle their tax situations. The good news is that H&R Block is ready to help and has been preparing since the moment tax reform passed.

Tax reform impacts everyone

Tax reform impacts everyone differently, depending entirely on their specific circumstances. It’s important for people to look at their unique situation to see what they should expect when they file. Tax reform impacts virtually everyone with new tax brackets and tax rates, but other changes especially impact families, homeowners, and the self-employed.

Tax reform and withholding changes could mean swings in refund size

While most people will come out ahead overall, it won’t feel that way for the people who will get a smaller tax refund, or will end up owing, because they got their tax reform benefit through bigger paychecks. The potential for surprises comes from updated IRS tables employers use to calculate tax withheld from an employee’s paycheck. These changes generally resulted in bigger paychecks and less tax withheld starting in February or March, even if they took no action.

Anyone who updated their withholding with their employer after the IRS made its adjustments in February can expect the withholding outcome they planned for when completing their W-4. It is everyone who did not update their W-4 who is most at risk of significant changes to their refund or balance due.

For those who don’t like what happened with their refund this year, they can make sure it doesn’t happen again next year by updating their withholding with their employer. H&R Block tax professionals will provide W-4 planning for clients when they file their 2018 tax return.

Some refunds also held until mid-February due to government-mandated delay

The IRS is required to hold refunds for returns claiming the earned income tax credit (EITC) and additional child tax credit (ACTC) until mid-February. Approximately 30 million taxpayers claim the EITC or ACTC, with half filing early, which means as many as 15 million taxpayers could have their refunds delayed until mid-February.

For taxpayers who want access to money faster than the IRS can provide a tax refund, H&R Block is offering the Refund Advance loan* of up to $3,000. The Refund Advance, a no-interest loan from Axos Bank™ is repaid from the client’s federal or state income tax refunds. If approved, clients will typically have access to money within hours of applying.

Taxpayers can learn more about the Refund Advance or schedule a tax appointment with Kathy Echols online or by calling 901 372-1690.

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Top tax questions and answers

Nobody knows the pulse of the taxpayer the way Block does. H&R Block answers more questions from all kinds of filers than anyone else, from DIYers to assisted filers.

Tax reform impacts everybody differently. Here’s how it affects you.

There are many variables in the tax reform law that make it difficult for taxpayers to know how everything will come out in the end. Use our tax reform calculator to find out how it affects you.

Kathy Echols

Kathy Echols

H&R Block

Kathy Echols is a senior tax analyst for H&R Block, the world’s largest tax services provider. Kathy has been providing expert tax advice and preparation support for taxpayers in Memphis for the past 15 tax seasons.

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