Fewer and lower state tax refunds so far this year

WICHITA, Kansas – Fewer and smaller income tax refunds have been issued by the state, according to data from the Department of Revenue.

As of Tuesday, there has been a small dip in the total number of state income tax returns. The state has collected around 754,000 returns as of March 18, compared to 761,000 on the same date in 2013. But the big dip comes in the returns that yielded a refund. So far, around 515,000 refunds have been issued, a 13 percent drop from the 595,000 refunds issued at this point last year.

There’s also a dip in the amount of the average refund. So far in 2014, the average refund is $412, compared to $466 at this point last year, an 11 percent drop.

Local tax preparers KSN talked to say they are not surprised by the dip, since the Legislature approved new tax rules effective this year that would turn three tax brackets into two and lower tax rates.

“The tables have been adjusted to reduced taxes,” Tim Cain, a tax preparer at Tax Wise in south Wichita, said. “It would just be proportional that there would be less refunds.”

The Department of Revenue said other changes likely had an impact. The food sales tax credit is no longer a refundable credit, meaning it can only be applied to your return if you owe money to the state. The state legislature also removed the “homestead” refund for renters. Also, with the adjustment of tax rates, employers are now withholding about five percent less from employees’ paychecks.

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