Tax Refunds Rebound

Tax Refunds Rebound

Flickr / Chris Potter
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Smaller refunds in the first few weeks of the current tax season were shaping up to be a political problem for Republicans, but new data from the IRS shows that the value of refund checks has snapped back and is now running 1.3 percent higher than last year. The average refund through February 23 last year was $3,103, while the average refund through February 22 of 2019 was $3,143 – a difference of $40. The chart below from J.P. Morgan shows how refunds performed over the last 3 years. 

Chart of the Day: The Explosive Growth of the EITC

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By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable tax credit for low- to moderate-income workers, was established in 1975, with nominal claims of about $1.2 billion ($5.6 billion in 2016 dollars) in its first year. According to the Tax Policy Center, by 2016 “the total was $66.7 billion, almost 12 times larger in real terms.”

Chart of the Day: The Big Picture on Health Care Costs

iStockphoto
By The Fiscal Times Staff

“The health care services that rack up the highest out-of-pocket costs for patients aren't the same ones that cost the most to the health care system overall,” says Axios’s Caitlin Owens. That may distort our view of how the system works and how best to fix it. For example, Americans spend more out-of-pocket on dental services ($53 billion) than they do on hospital care ($34 billion), but the latter is a much larger part of national health care spending as a whole.

Chart of the Day: High Deductible Blues

By The Fiscal Times Staff

The higher the deductible in your health insurance plan, the less happy you probably are with it. That’s according to a new report on employer-sponsored health insurance from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Los Angeles Times.

Chart of the Day: Tax Cuts and the Missing Capex Boom

Construction cranes tower over the base of the 30 Hudson Yards building, Wells Fargo & Co.'s future offices in New York
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Despite the Republican tax overhaul, businesses aren’t significantly increasing their capital expenditures. “The federal government will have to borrow an added $1 trillion through 2027 to pay for the corporate tax breaks,” says Bloomberg’s Mark Whitehouse. “So far, it’s hard to see what the country is getting in return.”

Chart of the Day: 2019’s Lobbying Leaders

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Roll Call reports that trade, infrastructure and health care issues including prescription drug prices “dominated the lobbying agendas of some of the biggest spenders on K Street early this year.” Here’s Roll Call’s look at the top lobbying spenders so far this year: