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Lower refunds aren’t tax increases

In response to the Feb. 20 Business section wire service article regarding lower-than-expected tax refunds: The story was misleading, and there was very little rebuttal to the argument that somehow this represents a tax increase for middle-income Americans.

As an employer, it is my responsibility to process payroll for our employees. Last year, the tax tables changed, and most people noticed an increase in their take-home pay due to a reduction in the tax they were being assessed. It was our responsibility to inform our employees — which we did — that, because the tax tables changed, they needed to provide us with a new W-4 if they desired to change how much tax was being withheld.

Employers have no ability to change this information in payroll without receiving signed W-4s from their employees. If people are happy to have more tax withheld so they can get a bigger refund, then they need to change their withholding status. The tax refund is not a windfall. It is your money that has been retained by the government, interest-free, all year. The government is simply returning it to you next year.

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