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Withholding hiccup could have you owing money instead of getting refund at tax time

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- You might be ready for a big refund when you file your taxes this year. That's because it's the first full year with the new Trump tax plan in effect. But for many people, that might not be the case.

There were a fair amount of post-holiday shopping at the Country Club Plaza on Thursday. But many shoppers were oblivious that their wallet could take an extra hit come tax time.

"I had no idea," shopper Shane Stroud said.

"I did not realize that, but thank you for sharing that!" shopper Nancy Jamerson said.

After Trump's much-touted tax plan took effect this year, new charts were put out for employers to know how much state and federal tax they should pull from your paycheck. The problem is that the numbers were wrong.

"We in the tax preparation community, are expecting people to be a little disappointed -- even in the federal refund because the withholding tables at the federal level weren't quite right either, but Missouri's is more pronounced," said Mike Martin of Martin Tax & Financial Services.

That's because Missouri allows a federal tax deduction and bases its numbers off the federal system. The mistake in how that was calculated under the new tax law, didn't get caught until September.

So a lot of taxpayers could find themselves owing money instead of getting a refund.

"It does surprise me because that was one of the big reforms that we're supposed to get bigger tax breaks," Jamerson said.

Martin estimates the average owed could be around $140, which may ultimately hit lower income families most.

"I live alone so every paycheck counts between rent, car payments and everything else. I mean, I'm already budgeting like I'm broke," Stroud said.

Missouri's legislature begins session next week, and many hope lawmakers find a fix to help those stuck with an unexpected tax bill caused by the state's mistake.

"One solution is that you've still got to pay, but we'll give you an extra 30 days or 60 days to write the check. That will help a little bit, but it's still going to disappoint the people who were looking forward to that refund, and it's just not going to be there," Martin said.

Other changes could also hit your wallet at tax time this year.

Most people won't get to itemize deductions for things like loan interest and charitable giving because of the higher standard deduction. And if you have business expenses like client meals or gas and mileage, that's not counted off anymore either.

Large families who have kids or other people they claim on their tax return are also no longer able to do so. All the exemption allowances have been changed to zero.

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