Average tax refund down 8% this season

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) – It’s tax season and it’s off to a slower start this year as early filers are seeing smaller average refunds.

The Internal Revenue Service says the average refund so far is down about eight percent under the first full year of the overhauled tax code.

Refunds for early filers average $1,865. That’s compared to $2,035 dollars for the 2017 tax year.

The total number of returns received by the IRS also dipped during the first week of the season, which ended February 1st. It’s down about two million returns, from about 18 million at this point last season to some 16 million so far in 2019.

This tax season will be watched closely for the real impact of the GOP-led tax overhaul in 2017.

The overhaul ushered in the most sweeping changes to the tax code in three decades, allowing people to keep more money in each paycheck as the IRS withholds fewer deductions. That results in lower returns in some cases.

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