The IRS is seeing a decline in the number of tax returns filed and tax refunds issued to taxpayers this year. The drop comes in the week leading up to February 1st. The IRS saw a 24.3% drop in the amount of tax refunds paid in the first week of tax season. The drop could be due to the partial government shutdown which ended shortly before tax season began on January 28th.
The IRS saw a 12.4% decrease in the amount of tax returns it received in the first week. The IRS received 16,035,000 which was down from 18,302,000 from previous years. The IRS was able to process a majority of the returns it received but was still down from previous years.
Along with the drop-in tax returns filed, the IRS has also issued less tax refunds. The IRS issued 4,672,000 tax refunds, which was down 24.3% from last year. Along with the drop of refunds issued, there was also a drop in the average amount of refunds. The average refund dropped 8.4% from $2,035 to $1,865. The lower tax refund sparked outrage on social media from taxpayers.
Taxpayers aired their frustrations on twitter about receiving a lower tax refund or finding out they owed heavy tax bills. Thousands of taxpayers did not adjust their withholdings on their W-4 forms to account for the changes that were caused by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The IRS is encouraging taxpayers to do a “paycheck checkup” and use the online withholding calculator to adjust their withholdings.