There’s a difference between the size of your refund and how much tax you owe. If your refund is lower or higher this year, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your taxes increased or decreased. A refund is the result of overpaying your taxes through withholding during the year. Many people benefited from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by receiving larger paychecks during 2018, rather than waiting until 2019 to get their money. That’s why some people are receiving smaller refunds this year than they received in previous years.