BALTIMORE — The amount you owe on your taxes may be lower in 2018 than you might think, according to a new study.
The Center for Responsive Politics found that taxpayers paid about $5,000 less on average in 2018, but their tax bills were actually higher than what they paid in 2016.
A lot of the tax credits in 2018 were reduced.
The credits are meant to offset some of the cost of a tax bill by helping you pay for the things you don’t pay for like child care or transportation expenses.
If you qualify for one of those credits, you pay less than you would on a flat tax bill, or you pay more than you paid on a personal income tax bill.
The center’s report shows that in 2018 alone, the average tax bill for taxpayers with credit payments of $4,000 or more was about $4.60 per month.
But even if you don and you’re a single filer with no credits, your average tax payment for 2018 was about the same as it was in 2016, the center reported.
For example, a filer who has credits of $2,000 and paid $4 per month on average would pay $2.60 on average for 2018.
But that person would owe $3,200 on average, according the report.
That is an improvement from the $3.75 they paid on average on a $4 bill in 2016 — a sign that the tax system is changing, the report found.
Taxpayers with credit payment amounts of $5 or more paid $6.30 more in taxes in 2019, the most recent year for which data was available.
That’s an increase of $0.70.
But taxpayers with credits of less than $2 received a $0 increase, the Center said.
The tax credits are aimed at helping low- and middle-income families who need help paying the bills, the group said.
In 2018, the tax credit amount for a single parent with children under 18 was about a dollar less than the $7.25 it paid on an income tax.
In 2019, it was about half a dollar more.
And for filers with no tax credits, it paid $2 less than it did in 2016 when they paid $5.80 on an average tax return.
That means a single family earning $45,000 a year will pay $5 more on average.
The group said it is important for taxpayers to understand that the credits are only meant to help the average taxpayer.
“We have to remember that the average person who pays taxes is a much larger group,” said Robert Hester, the president of the Taxpayers Federation of America, in a statement.
“It’s not the average filer that pays the taxes, it’s the average individual and family who pays the tax bills.”
The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank that tracks tax changes, said the tax changes would lower the effective tax rate for filer groups with lower incomes, but that they would also reduce taxes for those with higher incomes.
The Tax Foundation, a conservative think tank, said that tax changes in 2018 would have an overall positive impact on the economy and reduce the federal deficit by $5 trillion over 10 years.
It is not clear what the impact would be for those who make less than or more than $125,000 annually.
The report did not examine the effect on people who make more than about $200,000, though the Tax Policy Foundation said it would likely result in a reduction in the number of tax filers making more than that.
For the full report, go to tax.gov.