Most Americans have a smaller total federal income tax bill for 2018 than they did in previous years, thanks to the tax law passed by Congress in 2017. But thanks to changing instructions from the IRS on how to withhold tax, many people will see smaller refunds or may even owe money when they file their tax returns.
So far, the average refund paid to taxpayers is down 8.7% to $1,949, from an average of $2,135 this time in filing season last year, according to the IRS.
If anyone tells you that they have the 2019 tax filing season all figured, they’re lying. By all accounts, the upcoming tax season is going to be tricky. Despite a shoestring staff due to the shutdown, new tax forms and new tax rules, the 2019 tax season is still set to open on January 28, 2019. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) claims that the season will operate as close to normal as possible—including issuing tax refunds.
So when are those tax refunds coming? Assuming no delays, what follows are my best guesses for expected returns based on filing dates and information from the IRS:
Nobody wants to be audited by the IRS, but many taxpayers make simple mistakes that can lead to just that.
Many Americans will file their income tax return early before the April 15 deadline to receive their tax refund. Some IRS audits are randomly selected and based solely on a statistical formula, the IRS says, but other audits can happen when documents simply don’t add up.
Here are five common red flags that could lead to an audit: