The Economic Perspective: “Tax Refunds”

I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks tax refunds. Mike, the tax filing season is now over.   There were reports that folks who filed early were getting much smaller refunds than last year, and this led to some disappointments.  Now that most refunds have been paid, how is this tax season comparing to last year’s?

Mike: Summary Answer

  1. % of people getting refunds was down only 0.6%
  2. Average amount of the refunds was down only 1.5%
  3. So very comparable
  4. Refunds were expected to drop because there has been more time for folks to have their withholding adjusted to reflect the new tax rules
  5. It is always a good idea to actually come away from tax season not needing to pay extra taxes, but also not getting a huge refund
  6. Reason for not wanting a refund – it’s an interest free loan to the government, and get to use your money later
  7. Still, many have more than needed withheld from their paycheck as forced saving
  8. There are much better ways to do this – and earn interest
  9. I’m MW

Mary: And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economic