Apr 072019
 

Fast tax cuts could hurt republicans. When President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law in 2017, the Internal Revenue Service moved to make sure the savings showed up quickly in paychecks. Doing so probably lifted consumer spending last year, but it may have hurt Republicans politically, new polling shows. Administration officials, it appears, underestimated Americans love of tax refunds.

Nearly four in five people say they would rather overpay their federal income taxes and get a refund every spring–effectively making an interest free loan to the government than to underpay and owe money come tax season, according to a poll for the New York Times by the online research firm Survey Monkey. That preference appears to be influencing how Americans view Mr. Trump’s signature cuts: Among people who have already filed their tax returns, those who said they received a bigger refund this year are far more likely than others to approve of the law.

But many people are reporting that their tax refunds are smaller this tax year, or that they owe money. In addition to being more likely than other Americans to say they oppose the law, those people feel worse about the economy over all. They are also significantly more likely to disapprove of Mr. Trump’s performance. The findings suggest that the administration decisions of withholding may have hurt the law politically. Bigger paychecks for most—but smaller refunds for some. Independent analyses consistently show that the 2017 law gave most Americans a tax cut, and most families will end up paying more than most under the previous rules. Fast tax cuts could hurt republicans.

Federal officials faced a choice about how to pass those savings on to taxpayers. One options would have been to make most people wait until they filed tax returns this spring, delivering a tax season windfall but essentially delaying the cut by a year. Instead, the IRS chose to begin withholding less from workers paychecks early last year.


  •  04/07

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