Tax reform

Average tax refunds down 16.7% in third week of IRS filing

IRS building. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The average tax refund through the first three weeks of filing season is down 16.7% from the same period last year, according to IRS data cited by The Hill.

Yes, but: The IRS sent out a press release Friday evening to clarify this new data, saying that "comparing weekly data is misleading" and "isn't useful in drawing broad conclusions on refunds overall." 80% of Americans should have a lower tax bill this year as a result of the GOP tax cut, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Trump's invisible tax cut

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The U.S. tax system does one thing right: It collects taxes in a very smart way.

How it works: Workers have taxes automatically withheld from every paycheck, and the withholdings are generally slightly higher than the expected tax owed. After the worker files their tax return, they receive a refund check for the amount that was overpaid in the previous year. About 75% of taxpayers receive a refund each year.

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