How Are Trump’s Tax Cuts Working Out For You?

President Donald Trump.

CBS4 reports on the story of one Denver woman for whom 2017’s so-called “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” had a rude surprise in wait — a YUGE tax bill instead of the refund she expected:

Isadora Bielsky typically gets a tax refund, but not this year. In fact, she is one of thousands of Americans who got a big surprise when filing taxes.

“I plugged it all in and at first I thought oh my goodness we’re getting $8,000 back and then I realized it was the wrong color; so, I went back in and checked everything and I started to cry,” she told CBS News…

The Internal Revenue Service says last year refunds averaged around $2,100 dollars, so far this year, the number is around $1,900.

“I believe in paying taxes, but you can’t expect average Americans who have bills to pay and things they want to do. To save money that they don’t know they’re going to need,” said Bielsky.

An $8,000 surprise tax bill isn’t a typical case, but the story is consistent with a growing trend of Americans discovering that the tax cut they thought they were getting isn’t showing up on their 1040. Although many Americans saw slight increases in their take-home pay, as it turns out they simply weren’t withholding enough–a problem that conveniently only revealed itself after the 2018 midterm elections.

If you’ve already filed your taxes for 2018, did you see a change from the prior year?

And was it a good change?

If not, the Trump tax cuts simply weren’t about you.

4 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    Too often, when people talk about refunds changing from one year to the next, it’s not a great comparision — apples to oranges — because of the withholdings changes (reductions) for which there was no real basis anyway, except that the Republicans needed to show something for their giveaway to billionaires and corporations, even if it was only the equivalent of an annual Costco membership (h/t Paul Ryan (Asshole – Wisconsin).

    Part of the problem is that when the withholding was changed (reduced in most cases) in early 2018, people were getting larger (but not significantly larger) take-home checks — and they also expected the same or, even increased refunds?!? That was never going to happen in many/most middle- and lower-income cases — you know, for most of us.

    As I mentioned earlier this week, my actual total federal tax payments increased under the new law scam, by $1,400 in 2018 over 2017 (on just a smallish $3,000 increase in total gross income). This was due to my loss, under the new law, of being able to claim certain deductions that I claimed in 2017 and prior. Those lost deductions under the new law meant that I was actually unable to itemize for 2018, and had to just take the standard deduction.

    I wasn’t surprised. My accountant ran a comparison for me when I filed in 2017 letting me know how Cory (Lying Weasel Shitbag – Colorado) and the GOPers were actually affecting me. (. . . I mean, of course, besides ignoring healthcare, education, infrastructure, human rights, and fucking the environment planetwide.)

    I’m still getting a refund this year, because I always overwithhold, albeit, a much, much smaller refund.

    More GOPtastic news: It’s only going to get worse for most people. The GOPers set it up so that the “middle-class” portion of their tax-cut scam is being phased out incrementally over the next five years.

    So, either:  1) adjust your withholding now, or 2) be prepared for even smaller refunds, or 3) be prepared to actually have to pay in, instead of getting a refund . . . 

    . . . oh, and, or 4) just become a billionaire yourself and the GOPers’ tax scam will reward you generously (and Cory may even offer you oral sex — if you make a qualifying voluntary donation, of course.  Duh.)!

  2. JohnInDenver says:

    There are multiple IRS press releases with some variation of this in them:

    https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-provides-various-payment-options-for-taxpayers-who-owe-but-cant-pay-in-full

    IR-2019-15, February 13, 2019

    WASHINGTON ― As the 2019 tax filing season gets into full swing, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers who owe of the many easy payment options.

    The IRS anticipates that most taxpayers will be affected by major tax law changes. While most will get a tax refund, others may find that they owe taxes, many of whom may qualify for a waiver of the estimated tax penalty that normally applies. See Form 2210, Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Individuals, Estates and Trusts, and its instructions for details.

    “The IRS understands there were many changes that affected people last year, and the new penalty waiver will help taxpayers who inadvertently had too little tax withheld,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “We encourage people to check their withholding again this year to make sure they have the right amount of tax withheld for 2019.”

    The IRS urges people with a filing requirement and a balance due to file by the April 15 deadline even if they cannot pay in full. Taxpayers in this situation should pay what they can and consider a payment plan for the remaining balance.

    Taxpayers who owe taxes can choose among the following payment options:

    • IRS Direct Pay allows payment directly from a checking or savings account. This service is free.
    • Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or EFTPS. Pay by phone or online. This service is free.
    • Debit or credit card payment.  This service is free, but the processing company may charge a fee. Fees vary by company.
    • Check or money order made payable to the United States Treasury (or U.S. Treasury) either in person or through the mail.
    • Cash payments at some IRS offices or at a participating PayNearMe location. Some restrictions apply. Taxpayers should not send cash through the mail.

    Taxpayers who are unable to pay their taxes in full should act quickly. Several payment options are available including:

    • Online Payment Agreement — Individuals who owe $50,000 or less in combined income tax, penalties and interest and businesses that owe $25,000 or less in payroll tax and have filed all tax returns may qualify for an Online Payment Agreement. Most taxpayers qualify for this option, and an agreement can usually be set up in a matter of minutes. Online applications to establish tax payment plans, like online payment agreements and installment agreements, are available Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.; Saturday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 6 p.m. to midnight. All times are Eastern time.
    • Installment Agreement — Installment agreements paid by direct deposit from a bank account or a payroll deduction will help taxpayers avoid default on their agreements. It also reduces the burden of mailing payments and saves postage costs. Even taxpayers who don’t qualify for a payment agreement may still pay by installment. Certain fees apply.
    • Delaying Collection — If the IRS determines a taxpayer is unable to pay, it may delay collection until the taxpayer's financial condition improves.
    • Offer in Compromise — Certain taxpayers qualify to settle their tax bill for less than the amount they owe by submitting an offer in compromise. To help determine eligibility, use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool.

    In addition, taxpayers can consider other options for payment, including getting a loan to pay the amount due. In many cases, loan costs may be lower than the combination of interest and penalties the IRS must charge under federal law.

  3. Davie says:

    Finally got my taxes done with the help of a very overworked CPA as he tries to stay on top of the ever-evolving tax rules coming out of the IRS.

    Since I'm no longer a wage-earner, but my wife has a profitable sub-S corp, we actually did benefit from the tax scam bill this year purely due to the 20% pass-thru credit.

    AGI was up a few thou, but our taxes dropped by $2,500.  However, conservative projections for next year are that we'll be back to where we were in 2017 tax-wise.

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