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‘Feels like a scam’: Taxpayers furious at Trump after refunds dwindle following GOP overhaul

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The average tax refund is down about 8 percent compared to last year, and voters are angry at President Donald Trump and Republicans.

GOP lawmakers passed a tax reform bill in December 2017, and the early results of that overhauled system shows the average refund check has dropped by $170, and nearly a quarter fewer taxpayers received a refund so far, reported the Washington Post.

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“It totally feels like a scam,” said John Prugh, a Barnes & Noble manager from New Jersey. “I did still get a small refund, but compared to what I was expecting from previous years, it was shock.”

The 39-year-old Prugh, who did not vote for Trump, found his refund would be $3,000 less than last year, even though he and his wife have lived in the same house for years and saw no significant changes in their income.

The vast majority of Americans did receive a tax cut in 2018, but average refunds are lower because the GOP tax bill changed some tax deductions and the IRS has changed withholding in paychecks.

“I am really frustrated with my refund this year,” said Sal Ramirez, a packaging designer from California. “I was expecting good chunk of change. I was going to put it toward buying a car.”

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The 20-year-old Ramirez was refunded only $900 this year, after receiving $1,200 last year, almost certainly due to changes to withholding tables.

Prugh, whose overall tax bill was higher and his withholding apparently lower, was hit by changes in state and local tax deductions, and the elimination of deductions for mileage — and he can’t wait to punish Republicans in next year’s election.

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“I did not vote for Trump,” Prugh said. “As active as I got in the last election cycle and as active as I plan to be in 2020, this put more urgency behind it than almost any other thing that has happened.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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