This tax season has been a shock for filers who received smaller-than-expected tax refunds or a bill from the IRS for taxes owed.
Thus far, refund checks are about 8.7 percent smaller than they were last year, as of Feb. 8, according to data from the tax authority.
Employees who had a lot of out-of-pocket expenses that weren’t reimbursed by their employer might really feel the pinch this year, as this itemized deduction is now off the table.
“A trucker, a regional salesperson — they get W-2s and have an employer to report to, but they don’t get reimbursed for all of those out-of-pocket expenses and they were once able to deduct a portion of those costs,” said Phillips.
“This might have been the gateway to be able to itemize on your tax return or substantially increase your itemized deductions,” he said.
Whether you owe the IRS or you received a smaller tax refund for 2018, consider it a lesson learned for 2019.
That might mean you’ll need to adjust your tax withholding so that you’re closer to breaking even with the taxman.