Tax Surprise: Some may owe money to the IRS this year

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reports about 10% of all households have already filed their taxes, and for those that haven't, they may not want to count on a big refund.

According to the IRS, the average refund distributed so far this tax season has been $1,865. That is an 8.4% drop compared to last year's average refund of $2,035. In fact, some filers who have always gotten a refund may owe money to the IRS this year.

With this year's tax, people have, in a sense, already received their refund, in the form of a higher paycheck over the last several months that may not be noticeable.

"Not a happy little camper this time, maybe next year," said Debra Angelocos, who got the news from her tax preparer Monday morning.

"I'm getting a thousand dollars less than I did last year," said Angelocos.

"A lot of taxpayers thought they were going to get a bigger refund with all the changes, which, in respect they did, but they were getting it payday to payday since March of last year, so they may not have seen that little lift in their bring home," said H&R Block Tax Agent Linda Reader.

Reader says she knows many families count on and look forward to that larger refund check, and are disappointed when this year's numbers don't add up.

"We already have plans for the money," said Reader. "Improvements planned, vacations planned, and I totally relate to that."

Reader says there are changes that will impact the size of your return, and the best way to avoid any surprises in the future is to plan ahead.

"Let's look at your W-4 right now because this is February and we can make those adjustments so we aren't having the same conversation next February," said Reader. She went on to say that changes in the standard deductions and miscellaneous deductions also may change a lot of people's bottom line this year.

IRS information on tax reform and its impact on individuals and families