Upset With Your Tax Bill? Conservative Tax Foundation Says It's 'Complicated'

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April 15, 2019

By Spencer Feingold

Americans disappointed with their tax returns this year ー the first since the Republican tax cuts went into effect ー would be justified in blaming politicians in Washington for concocting a confusing system, an economist from the conservative Tax Foundation said.

“Part of it is the complexity of tax policy in general,” Kyle Pomerleau, an economist at the think tank, told Cheddar. “They moved a lot of things around. This was not simply ー 'we’re going to take all the tax rates and reduce them.'”

A poll released last week found that just 17 percent of Americans said they paid less under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The new tax law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, cut taxes largely across the board, but heavily favored corporations and wealthy individuals.

Another poll in March found that only 21 percent of taxpayers expect to pay less taxes, despite promises from the Trump administration that savings would be universal.

“Democrats have taken parts of the tax law that are base-broadening ー and that may increase taxes for a small minority of taxpayers ー and made that central to the message,” Pomerleau said. He claimed that 80 percent of Americans received a tax break this year, whether they noticed or not.

The Tax Foundation could point to its annual Tax Freedom Day, when the “nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill.” In other words, when the net national income finally equals the total amount of taxes paid for the year.

This year’s Tax Freedom Day was to fall on April 16 — 105 days into the year.

“It is quite a bit earlier than it was mainly due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which reduced federal tax liability quite a bit,” Pomerleau said.

For full interview click here.