Just one in five expect savings from Trump tax law: poll

Just one in five adults say that they think the GOP tax plan passed in 2017 will lead to greater savings on their tax bills this year, according to a survey.

Reuters/Ipsos poll published Friday found that 21 percent of adults say that their tax bills will likely decrease in 2019, while a larger segment, 29 percent, said that they expected their taxes to increase.

Another 27 percent said the tax law would have no impact on their taxes, while 24 percent said they were unsure of the effect the new law would have.

{mosads}The poll suggests that Republicans are having challenges selling and explaining their tax-cut law, since analysts estimate that the majority of taxpayers are getting a tax cut.

The Trump administration and tax experts across the ideological spectrum estimate that about 80 percent of taxpayers will see a reduction in their tax liability for 2018, and another 15 percent will see their taxes stay about the same. People are filing their 2018 taxes this year.

The poll found a split along party lines as 33 percent of Republican respondents said they expect to pay less on their tax bills this year and 45 percent of Democrats said they expect to pay more.

Notably, the share of Republicans who expect their taxes to go up in 2019 (17 percent) is more than double the share of Democrats who expect their taxes to go down (8 percent).

This is the first year that people are filing taxes under the new tax-code changes made by the 2017 law, which include lower rates, a larger standard deduction and curbs to some itemized deductions.

Tax preparers say that they’re seeing heightened anxiety from their clients this year, because they are often uncertain about how they will fare under the new law.

Tax preparers say that many people are focused on the size of their refunds, which is different from the size of any tax cut they received. People get refunds when they have paid too much in taxes over the course of the year.

IRS data from the first few weeks of the filing season showed a decline in the average refund size. Democrats pointed to the early data as proof that many Americans were suffering under the new law.

“Americans rely on this money to pay for essentials like rent, food, and childcare,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) told The Hill earlier this year.

“These reduced refunds are yet another negative impact of the GOP’s tax law, and further indication that middle-class taxpayers weren’t a priority for President Trump and congressional Republicans who wrote the disastrous legislation,” Neal added.

However, in recent weeks, refund amounts have been consistent with the amounts from last year. The latest batch of data showed that the average refund size through March 8 is about the same size as it was during the same period last year.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said last week that it doesn’t make sense to focus on week-to-week information about refund size “given how wildly refunds can vary early in the filing season.” He also stressed that refund size has nothing to do with whether someone’s tax burden increased or decreased.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll contacted 1,755 American adults from March 6 to March 11, including 1,439 who have paid or expect to file taxes in 2019. The margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Updated at 12:04 p.m.

Tags Chuck Grassley Donald Trump GOP tax law IRS Richard Neal Tax returns
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