In the news lately (early 2019) are many stories of regular people complaining that they have drastically lower tax refunds than the previous year, and some even owing instead. This is in the wake of President Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which promises in name and from its supporters to lower taxes. Among all these stories is the implication that the act has done the exact opposite. A Fox News opinion piece has taken exception to these many stories and claims that

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act significantly cut tax rates for middle class families, 80 percent of whom had a lower tax burden in 2018 than they did before the president’s tax cuts took effect.

Is this true? How many of 2018 middle class families have a lower tax burden than they did before the act took effect?

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    I've decided to tag [trump] because such tax bills are often strongly associated with the president who signed them, such that they are even called "[president's name] tax cuts". – fredsbend Feb 27 at 7:35
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    End-year tax refunds are a symptom of the in-year tax system failing to collect the correct amounts and instead collecting too much. The recent reforms included eliminating many itemized deductions, so reducing the gap. This has little to do with the level of tax burden. – Henry Feb 27 at 8:11
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    @Henry Indeed, and my exact complaint when first seeing these articles. But I could straight ask the question they insinuate: that taxes are actually higher. I had to wait for someone to make a definitive claim. – fredsbend Feb 27 at 8:16
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    It's worth noting that we are currently in the middle of tax season. I.e. that most people who owe taxes (who gain by waiting as long as possible to file) haven't filed yet. If this statistic exists yet, it may be slanted. And it's possible that the statistic does not yet exist. If the first return was filed January 31st and the first refund goes out six weeks later, that would be in March. It's still February. This question may simply not be ripe yet. – Brythan Feb 27 at 16:25
  • @Brythan A good point, but that hasn't stopped the media buzz... – fredsbend Feb 27 at 16:34

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