Tax refunds impacting furloughed government workers

Some previously furloughed workers are getting their tax refunds back, and many of them are not getting as much as expected.

Posted: Feb 11, 2019 5:20 PM
Updated: Feb 12, 2019 6:43 AM

According to the IRS, the average tax refund amount is 8.4 percent lower this year.

Some government workers who were furloughed during the government shutdown said the lower tax refund is making it difficult to make ends meet.

"We're still feeling those hurts right now, because we are getting back into working, and it's not easy to start back up," said a previously furloughed worker, Charles Thomas.

Charles Thomas was a furloughed, and he said he is still trying to recover from the shutdown.

"Everyone was kind of scrapping to get back up and running, and it's not easy," said Thomas.

This year, the average tax refund is lower than in the past, and Thomas said he is seeing a big difference in the money he is getting back.

"When I put in my second W-2, my return dropped by $1,200 just in this year's taxes. It was ridiculous," said Thomas.

WAAY 31 reached out to an employee at a local tax preparation company, and she said the amount someone gets back is determined by each person's unique financial situation.

"Yes, there are some that are being surprised and getting lower amounts, but there are also some that are being surprised and getting additional amounts," said tax expert, Darlene Williams.

"Some people really rely on on their tax returns to pay off other bills or maybe get some credit card debt from Christmas time down but now, a lot of the furloughed workers are having to use that to just pay their bills," said Thomas.

Thomas said his lower tax refund is making life difficult, but he is also working hard to make sure all his bills are paid.

WAAY 31 spoke to several different tax preparation companies and all of them seem to say the same thing: The tax refunds vary from person to person. Some people might find they are not getting back as much as expected, because they paid less in taxes this year than in previous years.

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