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Taxpayers Find New Target To Blame For Smaller IRS Refunds: Their Accountants

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Certified public accountant Rosalba Mazzola says tax time is usually the busiest and happiest time of year in her Bay Ridge office.

"Usually it's a fun experience because they come in and they want to hear how much money they're going to have," Mazzola told CBS2's Hazel Sanchez.

But after the new tax act, Mazzola and her colleagues say it's been a different story in 2019.

Many tax payers are getting sticker shock, with returns drastically cut and some people even owing the government for the first time.

MORE: New Tax Laws Giving Many People Sticker Shock And Smaller Refunds

"I've had situations where people have teared up, their head on my desk… I've been kind of consoling people and apologizing to people," Mazzola said.

"Everyone is cursing their accountants now. I've spoken to a lot of my colleagues and everyone's kind of feeling beat up."

The Brooklyn CPA says she spends twice as much time with her clients, trying to explain the changes.

Some of her customers – including one recent client - are even blaming her, accusing the CPA of bad accounting.

"Last year his refund was $6,000 and this year it was $557 and he lost it. He literally lost, said it 'must've been a mistake. This can't be correct!'"

Although there's a lot of misplaced rage out there, some taxpayers taking a hit this year that are finding a way to look at a bright side.

Tim Pewitt of Wet Ticket Brewing in New Jersey says he expected to get bad news. His once-deductible real estate taxes are no longer applicable under the nation's tax overhaul.

"Certainly people are going to be paying more taxes, but on the other side depending on what they do for a living, they certainly could be a net positive to them. A growing economy is good for all Americans," Pewitt argued.

Mazzola says she wishes it was easy for everyone to be optimistic this tax season.

"I'm only the messenger here. Don't shoot the messenger."

Her message now is: make adjustments in your withholdings and prepare better for next year.

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