(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The tax filing deadline is just days away and according to the IRS, as of Friday, 50 million taxpayers had not filed.
This is the first tax season since the federal tax code overhaul was passed by Congress in 2017. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made sweeping changes and millions of people who got a refund last year, won’t be getting one this year.
- 50 million taxpayers haven't filed their tax returns as of 4/12/19, according to the IRS.
- 4.6 million fewer taxpayers will get a federal tax refund this year.
- The average refund to date is $2,833.
- The average person spends 11 hours and $200 completing his or her 1040, according to WalletHub.
“Roughly 5 million fewer taxpayers will receive this tax filing season,” said Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with WalletHub a financial website. “I think that is what we are going to be finding is the new normal.”
Many people are seeing smaller refunds this year compared to last year. But it’s not because they are paying more taxes. Federal withholding tables changed and that lead to small increases in paychecks throughout the year as opposed to a big refund at the end.
According to the IRS, the agency will process 153 million individual tax returns for the 2018 tax year.
Sandy Hamlin, of St. Joseph, filed her taxes in February and has already received her refund.
“I actually ended up receiving more,” Hamlin said. She also added that the larger refund could be due to factors related to a loss in the family.
Helen Brock-Thurston and her husband, also saw a bigger tax refund this year.
“My husband and I filed earlier than usual because we are senior citizens and we set aside extra money through the year,” she said.
While most people have filed their taxes like Hamlin and Brock-Thurston, 50 million people have not. If that is you, Gonzalez and the IRS have a few tips for last-minute filers.
“No matter what, file your taxes,” Gonzalez said. “Even if that’s for an extension.”
If you owe money to the IRS and do not have enough money to pay the balance, there are options.
“If you need 30 days, wait for a bill and pay the .5% monthly fee,” Gonzalez said.
That option should only be used if you need an extra 2-3 weeks. But if you need more time, then file an extension.
According to the IRS, all taxpayers requesting extra time to file and get the request in by Monday at midnight, an extension will automatically be granted.
“A filing extension allows taxpayers until Oct. 15 to gather, prepare and file their taxes with the IRS,” according to the website. “However, it does not extend the time to pay any tax due.”
If you have more questions or need extra help, you can visit IRS.gov. Last minute filers can find information on the website about filing taxes, requesting extensions, or how to make payments.
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