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.

The big picture: This is the third straight week that Americans, on average, have seen lower refunds. Democrats have seized on the issue as a sign that the GOP tax cut has not benefitted average Americans, but Trump officials have said the lower refunds are because most Americans are seeing larger paychecks throughout the year.

Go deeper: Trump's invisible tax cut

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election — Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — University of Michigan students ordered to shelter-in-place.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden has huge cash advantage over Trump as Election Day nears

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had $177.3 million in the bank at the end of September, per the latest Federal Election Commission filings.

Why it matters: President Trump's re-election campaign reported having $63.1 million in the bank at the end of last month, as campaigning enters the final stretch ahead of Election Day on Nov. 3.

Court allows North Carolina mail-in ballots deadline extension

An absentee ballot election worker stuffs ballot applications at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections office in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

North Carolina can accept absentee ballots that are postmarked Nov. 3, Election Day, until Nov. 12, a federal appeals court decided Tuesday in a 12-3 majority ruling.

Why it matters: The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling against state and national Republican leaders settles a lawsuit brought by a group representing retirees, and it could see scores of additional votes counted in the key battleground state.