By Pat Kessler

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Five days ahead of the April 15 tax deadline, millions of Americans are discovering they owe Uncle Sam, instead of getting a refund. So what happened to that tax cut you were promised? WCCO’s Pat Kessler has a Reality Check.

Tens of thousands of Minnesotans are not only not getting a tax refund, they’re writing a check to the IRS.

We’ve got the latest numbers, and they say 35 percent of U.S. taxpayers say they got a smaller refund than last year, and 18 percent who got a refund last year owe money this year.

What happened to that tax cut President Trump promised? President Donald Trump says almost everyone got one.

“Tremendous things for people, for the middle class, for workers,” Trump said at a White House Rose Garden ceremony last April. “And I consider this very much a bill for workers and a bill for the middle class.”

Trump is correct about the scope of the bill. The vast majority of Americans did get a tax cut, but the vast majority went to America’s wealthiest taxpayers.

Sixty percent of families got an average tax cut of about $900, but the top 1 percent of taxpayers got an average cut of $51,000.

For middle income families, the tax cut came in very small amounts — every week in your paycheck, so you might not have even noticed. And if you did not change your withholding on your W2 at work, you may have to pay.

So here’s the latest from the IRS. The average refund is down 2.9 percent, or about $20. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s actually a lot of money, about $6 billion less in refunds going out than last year.

That’s why few Americans think they even got a tax cut. The non-partisan Tax Policy Center found only 17 percent of Americans think they got a tax cut, even though 80 percent of taxpayers actually did.

Meanwhile, we don’t know how the tax cut affected Trump. The President said again today he will not release copies of his income taxes, because he says he is under audit by the IRS.

That’s Reality Check.


Pat Kessler