HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It’s April 15. You need to either file your federal tax return or ask for an extension.
Under the first year of President Trump’s new tax law, most Americans got a tax cut.
But for many of them, it didn’t show up in the form of a refund.
“I thought we were gonna be OK. And then boom! We were again faced with an unexpected payment,” radio personality Scotty Blaisdell said.
He’s like millions of Americans who will have to write a check to the Internal Revenue Service this year.
"We're taxed so much here already that it was disappointing. It was frustrating," he said.
The Tax Cut and Jobs Act allowed workers to take home more pay. But in many cases, the federal government withheld too little from their paychecks, and taxpayers failed to adjust their withholdings.
David Ramirez, of Tax Relief Services, had to break the bad news to about half his clients.
“Even though I’m trying to explain that, ‘Let’s look at your tax numbers and tax bracket. It’s actually gone down.’ But they actually end up owing a small amount or their refund has been dramatically reduced,” he said.
In addition to adjusting the withholding table, there were many other changes ― in the biggest adjustment to the tax code in 30 years.
"Many people that were itemizing in the past, under the current law are not able to itemize," Ramirez said.
On the flip side, the child tax credit doubled.
Ramirez said that’s helped families. To prevent his clients from having to pay the IRS next year, he’s advising them to adjust their withholdings for 2019.
“On your W-4 you can specify that you want an additional $25 to come out of every pay period, or you want an additional $50,” he said.
Blaisdell and his wife will keep a closer eye on their taxes in 2019.
"We're not looking for a giant refund. We just don't want to have a big payment," he said.
But tax experts warn not to get too comfortable. The government’s working on a new withholding table.