IRS: Average tax refund down about 8 percent so far / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Tax season is off to a slower start this year and 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 for the 2017 tax year.

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The total number of returns received by the IRS also dipped during the first week of the season, which ended Feb. 1.

It's down 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.