Portland, Or. – Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and Congressman Earl Blumenaur  were joined by several Oregon taxpayers today as they talked taxes at a  SE Portland business. Wyden is calling on the IRS to waive penalties for people who got a tax surprise under the new tax cut law and now owe the government money instead of getting a refund.

Beaverton teacher Mateo Ballard Strauhal says he and his wife typically get a $400 to $500 dollar refund. This year, they owe the federal government $2,300. He says “this tax cut law affected us so negatively.” He says “its not fair.”

Congressman Earl Blumenaur  says the Democratically controlled the house will hold hearings on the entire tax cut bill. A GAO estimate says the Treasury Department under withheld taxes from 30 million taxpayers.

The IRS said Thursday the average refund check was $40 more this year than last year through the week ending February 22. Wyden calls that spin and says ” the previous week refunds were down 17%. What happened in the last few days, the earned income tax credits came in.” He says the number of refunds and the total amount of  the refunds as of now are still below last year’s level.

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