Tax refunds are down only slightly from the end of last year's prime taxing season, according to new data released Wednesday by the IRS.
The news comes after data released by the tax collection agency earlier in the main filing season, which runs from late January through mid-April, showed refunds and the average amounts of refunds to be significantly down from the year before.
That data was heavily scrutinized since it was the first filing season since payroll tax withholding tables were changed due to the 2017 tax law that Republicans passed on a partisan basis.
As of April 19, total refunds are up 0.3% from the year before, when old withholding tables were still in place, though the total amount of money refunded is down 1.7%, or about $4.4 billion. The average amount refunded is down 2%, a difference of about $55.
Total filings and returns processed were both up 0.2% from the same time the year before.
Refunds do not reflect an individual’s total tax burden. The changes to withholding tables and to certain deductions, such as limitations on the deduction for state and local taxes, may have changed the amount of money the government refunded some taxpayers.
The Tax Policy Center and the Tax Foundation, two Washington-based tax policy think tanks, both expect a small percentage of households living in areas with higher local tax rates to pay more under the new law, but both estimate the majority of households saw an overall tax cut.
The IRS will continue to update its data as taxpayers file extended returns over the course of the year.