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Did you miss out on an income tax refund? Here’s how to change how much is taken out of your paycheck.

Did you miss out on an income tax refund? Here’s how to change how much is taken out of your paycheck.
File photo (Bill Oxford/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Despite all the talk about a tax cut after President Trump’s successful overhaul of the tax code, many people think they are paying more to the federal government. The truth might lie in how much the Internal Revenue Service is taking out of your weekly paycheck.

Here are some tips that may help you avoid a tax surprise next April 15.

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Decide what’s best for you

Would you rather pay the IRS a little too much and get a refund -- or would you rather not let the IRS withhold the least amount of money from your check.

Check your withholding

Tax experts say the problem for many people disappointed about the lack of a refund is that they aren’t having enough taken out of their paychecks. What citizens pay in taxes is based on the number of allowances claimed on the IRS’s W-4 form. The 2017 tax bill made a number of changes that require people to adjust their tax withholding. To update your withholding, you will need to fill out form W-4 and provide it to your human resources department at work.

But first, you may need a checkup

The IRS suggests that all taxpayers take a few minutes to use its withholding calculator for a “paycheck checkup.”

What documents do I need to pull together?

Before you start, gather your most recent pay stubs and your last income tax return.

Why you should check your withholding

Turbotax advises that life events such as changing a job, getting a second job, getting married, having a baby and unemployment can significantly affect how much money to have taken out of your pay. You can find Turbotax’s tax calculator here. H & R Block offers W-4 allowance calculator here.

Yes, many people are getting a sizeable refund

The IRS reports the average tax refund this year is $2,833 -- nearly the same as last year. According to the New York Times, studies show that President Trump’s tax code changes cut taxes for most Americans.

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