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

IRS
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