The average American’s tax refunds are up in 2019, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. Mainstream media has reported for weeks that President Trump’s tax plan had negatively impacted refund amounts, but new data shows they got it wrong.
“The average refund at this point in the filing season is now up 1.3 percent over last year based on 47.7 million individual returns processed thus far in 2019 compared 49.2 million returns processed in 2018,” the Treasury Department said Friday in a statement. “Through four weeks of the filing season, the average tax refund in 2019 increased to $3,143, a significant jump from last week’s average of $2,640.”
“Tax refunds normalized as we expected. # # working,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin tweeted Saturday morning, but the Treasury Department also warned that weekly filing data is variable and will continue to fluctuate.
Even with fluctuations, Mnuchin saying that refunds normalized “as expected” indicates that they expect the trend to remain around the average from 2018.
The increase in the weekly data is primarily due to the remainder of the Earned Income Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits being paid out this week.
The media also dishonestly cast the lower refunds received during the first few weeks as representing higher taxes paid under Trump’s tax reforms. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“The size of someone’s refund is a separate issue from whether their taxes have increased or decreased,” Treasury said. “Most people are benefiting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by receiving larger paychecks throughout the year, instead of tax refunds that simply result from people overpaying the government throughout the year.”