Tax filing season 2019 is in full swing, and since the IRS reported its first preliminary numbers on Feb 1, there has been some outrage about the average amount of Americans’ tax returns
appearing lower than in previous years. Some suspect Donald Trump’s tax reform to be the reasons why Americans could effectively be paying more taxes this year. But the IRS cautions that because of the recent government shutdown, processing of tax returns is behind and final numbers could show a different picture.
On March 23, IRS numbers
indicated that the average amount of tax returns filed by that time for 2018 was US$2,915, compared to US$2,925 by the same time the previous year. Looking through early season filings of past years, the average amounts are sometimes, but not always predictive of final numbers, which are released approximately 12 months after the end of each tax year. For this year, 1.9 million fewer reports were filed up to now than were filed at the same time in the previous year, which might be because fewer Americans are eligable for a refund. All in all, UBS revised their projected total of tax refunds down by US$25 million for 2018.
The average amount of America’s tax return has actually been increasing slightly in recent years when referring to the final IRS filings. The average amount for 2017 was US$2,899, up from US$2,755 in 2012.