As one in four file their tax returns, support for tax law drops

February 14, 2019, 6:00 PM GMT+0

31% of Republicans who have not yet filed taxes say that they expect to pay less under the new law

President Trump’s tax law divided America when it was passed by the Republican-controlled Congress. A majority in a December 2017 Economist/YouGov poll did not believe the law would cut taxes for everyone. In this week’s Economist/YouGov poll, as more Americans file their federal income taxes, there is increased opposition to the tax reform plan.

With more people believing they are paying more in taxes this year, and with the news that, in fact, the size of tax refunds so far has dropped, many now believe the tax law means higher taxes for them personally.

More people surveyed this week oppose the tax law when compared to last week.

This week’s shift was particularly noticeable among independents because more oppose the tax reform plan than support it.

Many people may be judging the tax law based on the size of their refund and not the total tax money they have paid this year, which would include any money withheld from their paychecks. But if the difference between last year’s and this year’s take-home pay isn’t significantly larger, the impact on the dollars they receive may not be noticed, and this group will focus on the refund check. That perception will be more important to the judgment of the law.

One in four says they have already paid their taxes. That share will grow as April 15 nears. Republicans and Democrats are equally likely to have filed early. Two-thirds in this group say they took the standard deduction and did not itemize. Only 18% of early filers itemized.

Over a quarter (26%) of people believe they paid more, while 21% believe they paid less.

Those who have yet to file are more likely this week (26%) to say they believe they will pay more, compared with 18% who believed the same thing last week.

The percentage of people saying they expect to pay more rose 11 points in the last week, and 14 points among independents. Republicans who will file later remain hopeful: 31% of them expect to pay less and just 9% think they will pay more in taxes.

Approval of the President when it comes to his handling of taxes is just 39%. This week, 46% disapprove, slightly higher than the percentage in last week’s poll.

See full toplines and tables results here.

Image: Getty