Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, February 08, 2019

Americans who are accustomed to receiving an income tax refund tend to file their taxes early -- often in late January or early February when all the paperwork becomes available -- but this year many early filers are finding to their surprise that they actually owe money to the IRS. The truth is somewhat more complicated. The new tax law does result in some people paying higher taxes (especially over the long term), but the specific issue here is tax refunds rather than total taxes paid. Whether you get a refund or owe extra to the IRS at filing time is a function not just of your total taxes owed, but also of how much tax is withheld from your paycheck by your employer on paydays. And the big story here is that as a result of the new tax law, the Treasury Department tweaked things so that on average taxpayers' withholdings fell by more than their actual taxes owed.

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It's only a surprise if you weren't paying attention.

#1 | Posted by qcp at 2019-02-07 11:10 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

...but the schadenfreude is delightful.

#2 | Posted by qcp at 2019-02-07 11:14 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2


@#1 ... It's only a surprise if you weren't paying attention. ...

Not quite correct.

It is only a surprise if you were paying attention to certain people.

People who were intent on misinforming you so that they could get away with the mass transfer of wealth to the 1%'ers while saddling the middle class with a trillion dollars of debt to repay.

#3 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-02-07 11:19 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 8

The so-called middle class tax cut that was really just an advance on your refund. G.W. Bush did the same thing. But the masses who believe trickle-down works are gullible at best.

#4 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2019-02-07 12:10 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

I just hope they connect the dots. Trump and dishonest tax withholding tables that the administration completely knew would saddle millions with tax bills. Suckers, isn't it time you grew up and recognized what a con Donald Trump is?

#5 | Posted by danni at 2019-02-07 12:41 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

"The so-called middle class tax cut that was really just an advance on your refund."

So far, I'm seeing most of it that way. The IRS sent me a half-dozen missives, telling me to warn clients about being under-withheld. I guessed it would change things about $10/wk/worker, but for my 90-100K folks, it's been $20. One guy used to getting $$1300 back will get $300, and a couple who usually breaks even owes $2,000.

I'm seeing two pockets of winners so far:
1) Folks making around $250K with kids: they didn't used to be able to take the child tax credit; now they can, and doubling it makes up for losing the exemption. Many of those get hit by the SALT cap, however.

2) Folks making $70K with multiple kids. They weren't paying a lot of income tax before, and they're paying a little less ($80), but the doubling of the CTC got them an extra $200 per kid.

Losers are folks who used to itemize, and be five or ten thousand dollars over their standard deduction, and W-2 workers expected to pay for their own business expenses.

Worst losers on the other side of the ledger due to the new code are charities*. Almost all incentives in the tax code are gone for 95% of taxpayers.

*and taxpayers, who just borrowed an additional $11,000 per.

#6 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-02-07 01:08 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 9

"Trump and dishonest tax withholding tables that the administration completely knew would saddle millions with tax bills."

You are EXACTLY right. And they knew it would occur after the midterms.

Politics aside, it's governing in bad faith.

#7 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-02-07 01:09 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 12


@#6 ... a couple who usually breaks even owes $2,000. ...

This is the group that is going to be hurt the most. The ones that used to break even or so, and now owe thousands.

#8 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-02-07 01:57 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

#7 Governing in bad faith (for anyone other than the 1%) is the GOP platform.

#9 | Posted by Nixon at 2019-02-07 02:22 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 5

#6

Funny, I just e-filed my federal taxes and will receive the biggest refund of my life for 2018 because I fall into one of the categories you mention. I was really braced for the opposite. My son's girlfriend was complaining about the fact her refund will be next to nothing compared to 2017 even though her income was almost identical. What the GOP did was insidious and I certainly hope the Democrats broadcast it widely and loudly all the way through 2020.

#10 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-02-08 02:24 PM | Reply


@#10 ... What the GOP did was insidious and I certainly hope the Democrats broadcast it widely and loudly all the way through 2020. ...

The Democrats will need to focus their message a lot better than they have been.

We've seen where Pres Trump's campaign is going to focus - America First vs Socialism.

The Republicans won't need to define "socialism" they'll just pillory it, much a was done with Obamacare.

The Democrats will need to really up their game if they want their broadcasts on this tax topic to be heard.

#11 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-02-08 02:50 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

When it comes to taxes what is important is how much you pay. It is disturbing to read many people upset by the amount of the refund they get. This implies they do not pay attention to what is actually withdrawn from their paychecks for taxes and/or are under some type of misconception that the refund is a government benefit. California and New York residents may be paying more income tax due to the loss of the state income tax deduction. In this case the fair thing to do would be for California and New York to give these people a credit on their state income taxes.

#12 | Posted by SWIFTCLONE at 2019-02-08 03:03 PM | Reply

#11

in this anecdotal driven society, personal experience and word-of-mouth advertising are the major driving forces in our collective decision making. the way this seems to be shaping up, I don't think this is going to work out well for the republicans

#13 | Posted by 1947steamer at 2019-02-08 03:07 PM | Reply

I just did a quick run through of the 1040 and I'm basically even.

Usually I get a ~$500 refund.

#14 | Posted by jpw at 2019-02-08 03:59 PM | Reply

The "Tax cut" gave you an extra $1.50/week on your paychecks in exchange for $hundreds less on your refund check

#15 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2019-02-08 04:25 PM | Reply

I would have gotten around 1500 but because of multiple raises I have to pay back 1550 in insurance subsidy. I was watching my withholding through the year trying to make it work out but I missed but I anticipated 1500 pay back not 1550 so I owe 30.

A while back danforth posted an IRS estimating tool, easily the best information I have ever gotten on drudge.

#16 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2019-02-08 04:42 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

14
I think whatever you're doing keep doing it.
When I was younger I wanted a refund, until I remembered it was my money in the first place.

I don't have the balls to withhold and then pay at the end of the year though.

Not that I have anything to do with it. My wife handles the finances and we have a guy for the taxes.

#17 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2019-02-08 04:52 PM | Reply

"This implies they do not pay attention to what is actually withdrawn from their paychecks "

Nonsense. They rely on the verisimilitude of the tax tables. In this instance, the White House dropped the withholding rates MORE than they dropped the tax rates. On purpose, so the tax cut would look larger than it really is.

#18 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-02-08 06:45 PM | Reply

"The "Tax cut" gave you an extra $1.50/week on your paychecks in exchange for $hundreds less on your refund check"

And the $11K loan. Don't forget it's all newly borrowed money, and folks who pay income taxes just borrowed $11K apiece.

#19 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-02-08 06:46 PM | Reply

Netflix posted the biggest profit ever for 2018 - $845,000,000 - and didn't pay a dime in taxes. $0

And they got a $22,000,000 refund to boot.

Republicans who whine and cry about debt and deficits - which they created through their own tax and economic policies - need look no further then their own mirrors for where to place the blame.

#20 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-02-08 06:56 PM | Reply

I think whatever you're doing keep doing it.

I wish I could claim it was intentional.

I usually try to aim for a few hundred bucks refund.

I don't have the balls to withhold and then pay at the end of the year though

Me either.

My financial situation is such that I like the security of not having a potential big bill in April but a possible small windfall to pad the savings account.

I'm not into investing or financial planning enough to put the extra into a useful instrument that actually gains me anything over the span of a single year. Certainly not enough to make it worth the hassle or worry.

#21 | Posted by jpw at 2019-02-08 10:12 PM | Reply

Told you!!!

#22 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2019-02-09 08:06 PM | Reply

For decades I've always set my withholding low so that I owe some each year as I figured out long ago that getting a refund just means you gave the treasury an interest free loan. Also, no matter when I have my taxes prepared, I never send in the payment until the 15th of April. Curious though, that if one owes and cannot pay on time [make payments to IRS] you will be charged interest on those monies.

#23 | Posted by MSgt at 2019-02-09 08:28 PM | Reply

criminals are in charge

#24 | Posted by bayviking at 2019-02-09 10:29 PM | Reply

I'd rather owe them at the end of the year. No sense in giving the money to them before it's due.

#25 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2019-02-10 07:40 PM | Reply

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