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Even if you haven’t started on your 2018 return, you’ve probably heard this tax year’s horror story: lower-than-anticipated refund checks or the possibility you will owe the IRS.
This tax year holds surprises for many individuals after the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
So far, average refunds are down 8.4 percent from the same time last year, to about $1,865.
Yet some individuals still stand to receive bigger checks than they did last year.
“They’re going to be wondering what everyone’s complaining about,” said Tim Steffen, director of advanced planning at Baird Private Wealth Management.
The likely candidates: individuals who make estimated quarterly payments to the IRS. That predominantly includes retirees, business owners and other individuals whose income is not withheld for tax purposes.
Those people tend to base their quarterly estimated tax payments on the previous year. So if they paid based off of tax year 2017, they likely paid too much, according to Steffen.
However, bigger refund checks aren’t all good news.
In fact, it’s best not to receive a large check from the IRS, Steffen said. Many people do like it though because it’s a form of forced savings.
“They don’t pay any interest,” Steffen said of the IRS. “From a cash flow management standpoint, you’re better off having use of the money yourself.”