Your tax refund might not be what you expected

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - As people file their taxes they may be a little surprised with their tax refund or lack thereof.

This tax season is the first year the new tax reform bill is put into place. That means changes to the tax forms were made.

"Their take of an EZ tax return now is more complicated and has additional forms on it," says Shelby Dahl, general manager at Liberty Tax.

Along with form changes some people saw a change in how much they got in their tax refund.

"We see both sides of the new tax reform affecting people both positive and negative with either getting a larger refund to the other way of getting a less refund, again due to the same, new tax reform," says Dahl.

This change didn't just happen at the end of January. It started with the way people fill out their W-4. If you didn't change your allowances on your W-4 in 2018 you might have a smaller refund.

"You know, those who are single, with no children, or no dependents in the home, that's gonna be where it affects the most because they were unaware of the change in their pay checks. So when it comes to their taxes it's gonna affect them, they're going to have less refund coming back to them," Dahl says.

Many people are trying to get their taxes done before a potential government shutdown Friday, but Dahl doesn't think a shutdown will affect the rest of the tax season. It may not be possible to know for sure if a shutdown will have some effect which is why credit counselors suggest having a backup plan.

"You know, we don't know if they're going to make the IRS people work without pay or whether they furlough them off so then if they furlough them off then of course our tax return's gonna get longer and longer in the year and if you really need that money, you're kind of in trouble. So that's the importance of emergency savings and manage your money all year round," says Terry Mills with Consumer Credit Counseling Service.

If you had a smaller tax refund this year you can change your W-4 information to potentially get more money back next year.