We’re at T minus five days until April 15, the day you finally have to smash that eFile button on your taxes or slip your 1080 in the mail. And while some filed months ago, plenty of people are waiting until the last minute. That means they’re only now discovering that instead of getting a tidy sum back from the government they’ll have to write a check to Uncle Sam.
These rude awakenings are people file for the first time under the tax reform law passed by President Trump and the last Congress, in which both houses were controlled by Republicans. The GOP touted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as a law that would help middle-class families save money. In reality, most of the savings went to corporations, and several provisions actually hurt working people.
The law eliminated many of the deductions middle-class families used to lower the taxes they paid and capped the deductions those in states with their own income taxes could use to reduce their federal burden. A dozen House Republicans voted against the final bill, and they were overwhelmingly from New York, New Jersey, and California, three states with relatively high-income taxes.
The average return is just $20 less than last year, but about 1.6 million fewer people are actually getting refunds. And while take-home pay may have gone up for some, the shock of getting a dramatically lower return or a four-figure bill from the IRS is causing a lot of frustration on social media, particularly from middle-class filers.
Thank you @realDonaldtRump & republicans for the worst tax season ever.
Tax forms are more complicated to complete.
Tax refunds are lower, or you have to pay in when you hadn't before.
The only ones who made out well with this #TaxScam are you and your wealthy buddies.
— McSpocky™ ???????? ???? (@mcspocky) April 6, 2019
— Zach Kulig (@K00GS) April 9, 2019
— Tom Noonan (@TomTheBert) April 10, 2019
I was expecting a refund. Instead, I owe taxes. Thought we had tax reform? https://t.co/6pEWIzXFjd
— Shane Hardin ???? (@ShaneAlanHardin) April 8, 2019
Even some self-identified Trump supporters expressed frustration with how much more they were expected to pay.
I’ve waited until I filed my taxes before I posted this tweet. I am a middle-class single income family and Trump supporter. No major changes this year except new tax law. 2017=$7150 fed refund. 2018=owe fed $3400. Fix the taxes!
— Deplorabus Maximus (@Bildor_MoM) February 26, 2019
Democrats won massive victories around the country in the 2018 midterms. If they’re able to translate taxpayers’ frustration into votes, expect more of the same in 2020.