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Tax Expert Reveals Why Getting a Smaller Refund this Year is a Good Thing

Photo ©iStockphoto.com/Darren415
Photo ©iStockphoto.com/Darren415

A recent Treasury Department report showed that tax refunds are down thus far in 2019 compared to last year. The report indicates that of the 27 million tax returns filed through Feb. 8, the average refund is down about nine percent.

Many Democrats in Congress blame President Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2018. They claim that the report is proof that the Jobs Act was nothing but tax cuts for the rich. 

When the report came out, Senator Kamala Harris of California, an announced 2020 Democrat Presidential candidate, tweeted:

"The average tax refund is down about $170 compared to last year. Let's call the President's tax cut what it is: a middle-class tax hike to line the pockets of already wealthy corporations and the 1%."

But tax expert Dan Pilla says Harris and others have it all wrong. "It's complete nonsense," he said on the 700 Club. "Eighty percent will see a tax cut... these are not tax cuts for the rich."

Tax Expert Dan Pilla talks with Pat Robertson about why a lower tax refund is actually a good thing on Thursday's 700 Club.

Pilla says a tax refund, by itself, is no measure whatsoever of whether your tax liability went up or down. The refund is simply a measure of what you overpaid. 

He adds that the fact that refunds are lower this year is not necessarily a bad thing. You get a refund only because you paid in too much to begin with. If your refund is down, that likely means you didn't overpay as much as last year. And that's a good thing.

Pilla also says that people need to properly adjust their payroll withholding so they don't overpay in the first place. He says too many taxpayers treat the withholding system as some kind of savings account, which he says is the worst way to manage your money.

When you manage your tax payments properly, you have the money in your hands, where it belongs. That money is available for you to use and enjoy in a manner that best suits you and your family. That way you can save or invest in real wealth-building vehicles, or pay down debt, or fund business needs, or just pay for fun and recreation. In any event, you – not the government – are in charge of your own money.

Dan Pilla is a tax litigation consultant and author of 14 books, including How to Win Your Tax Audit.


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