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New Member

Why is my Federal refund so low?

3 Replies
New Member

Why is my Federal refund so low?

The impact of the changes being seen in 2018 federal income taxes, as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, is likely going to vary depending on each individual taxpayer's circumstance and their prior reliance of familiar aspects of the tax code that have seen significant change.

The increase in the Standard Deduction and the elimination of the Personal Exemptions are likely to cause the greatest changes for most taxpayers.

For 2018, the increased Standard Deduction amounts for all filers are:

  • Single or Married filing separately—$12,000.
  • Married filing jointly or Qualifying widow(er)—$24,000.
  • Head of household—$18,000.

Please be aware that this increase in the Standard Deduction is accompanied by the suspension, for tax years from 2018 to 2025, of the Personal Exemption, which in 2017 was $4,050 for the taxpayer, spouse, and each dependent.

For taxpayers who have previously itemized their deductions, it is likely that itemizing will be less attractive, due to the following, and other, changes:

  • State, local, property, and sales tax (SALT) deduction – capped at $10,000 ($5,000 if married filing separately).
  • Mortgage interest – capped at interest on $750,000 of mortgage debt.
  • Home equity loan or line of credit -- interest is deductible only if loan was used to buy, build, or substantially improve your home and your total mortgage debt doesn’t exceed $750,000.
  • Miscellaneous deductions subject to the 2% limit – suspended.
  • Personal casualty and theft losses – suspended (with exceptions).

New Member

Why is my Federal refund so low?

I need help cause this is not right 

Employee Tax Expert

Why is my Federal refund so low?

We cannot see your return. However, one way to feel confident is to compare your previous tax return with the current year. The format of the 1040 has changed from 2018 to 2019, so you cannot compare line numbers. Be sure to review by line description. Some important lines to consider are total income, taxable income, tax due, total payments, and refund or balance due. This will give you an idea of whether or not you may have left out anything before you file.


Also, take into consideration any job changes, life changes (marriage, new home, dependents, etc.) that may affect your return. Consider whether or not you have included all sources of income on your return, such as W2's, interest, dividends, or any income from self-employment. Review the Deductions & Credits section of TurboTax to make sure you have taken advantage of all potential tax breaks. Finally, be sure to run the review on the return to look for any potential errors.

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