It’s February which means it’s officially everyone’s favorite time of year: tax season! And while most of us will be putting off tracking down our W-2’s until early April, some people have already managed to file their taxes. And among those early birds, many in the middle class have been shocked to find that instead of the nice little chunk of change they were expecting with their return, they actually owe money to Uncle Sam.
What’s the reason for this financial switcheroo? It stems from President Trump’s tax reform, which was passed in 2017 and was touted by Trump and the GOP as a win for the middle class. However, with the new tax system now in place, Americans are discovering that most of the tax relief from the bill is actually being experienced by corporations.
Meanwhile, many people are seeing an increase in taxes due to the bill eliminating many of the deductions that were used by middle-class families in order to lower the amount of taxes they were required to pay. Most notably, the tax reform placed a cap on deductions for taxes on both state and local levels.
Unsurprisingly, people have not been happy to discover that what they expected to be a decrease in taxes paid is actually an increase. Those who had been supporters of Trump are especially infuriated, as many were under the assumption that he would provide financial relief for middle-class families, something that he consistently promised during his Presidential campaign. Many have even taken their anger online, with #GOPTaxSCAMStories trending on Twitter as more and more members of the middle-class express their feelings of betrayal towards Trump and Republicans.
I am a Republican voter. I just did our taxes.
The @GOP tax bill cost my family THOUSANDS of dollars this year on our return due to changes, thereby hitting us with the LARGEST tax increase of our lives.
We are middle-class homeowners, and you raised our taxes.
— Dennis Jordan (@DennisMJordan) February 5, 2019
Several users explained that they had voted for Trump and now were left wondering if they had made the wrong decision.
@realDonaldTrump I trusted and voted for you, now, screwed by you. I fall JUST above a tax bracket, I don't get the 5000 return I've gotten the last 3 years. Money my family depends on to start us over. I served my country honorably. I will not make the same mistake twice.
— Matt Davis (@MattDav72811123) January 30, 2019
Others presented just how much their taxes had shifted in just a year, highlighting how much of a shock the effect of this bill has been.
2017 taxes = $5,408 refund …
Unchanged salary, unchanged withholding…
2018 taxes = $440 owed to the IRS.
— Michael K Richards (@_hesh_) February 4, 2019
And many swore that they would no longer be supporting Trump, as they felt misled by the President.
@POTUS thank you for screwing the middle class with your tax reform. I have never in my life, I’m 49 years old, had to pay into the IRS until this year. We have a combined income of 150,000. The middle class voted for you. I will not make the same mistake twice.
— Joel Serbin (@JoelSerbin) February 4, 2019
While Democrats may have been tempted to mock Republicans for getting tricked by Trump, many instead said they deserved sympathy, since they had been victims of “statistical manipulation.”
Folks need to stop making fun of the middle class republicans who are only now finding out en masse that their taxes are going up. It’s hard for people to discount bald-faced lies when they are based on statistical manipilation. We need to be angry alongside them. This was wrong.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) February 5, 2019
With Trump already struggling to maintain support among most groups other than the ultra-wealthy, could the implementation of his tax reform actually backfire and cause him to further lose supporters from the middle class? Only time will tell but based on early responses, that seems like a distinct possibility.