Two weeks into the 2019 tax season, people filing their taxes are still getting back less money than they have in the past.
Refunds dropped 8.7 percent over the first two weeks of filing season, the Internal Revenue Service reports. The average refund this year so far has been $1,949, compared with $2,135 during the same two-week period a year ago.
Meanwhile, direct deposit refunds, which the IRS touts as a faster way to get your money because it allows the agency to send it straight to your bank account, are down almost 10 percent from a year ago.
Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow in the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, tells CNBC Make It that people should not read too much into these early numbers.
"It really isn't a bellwether — we just have very early information," he says. "There's a lot of missing data here."
It will likely take another month of these kind of numbers, maybe even more than that, Gleckman says, to really determine if the lower average refunds are the new normal.
"It's going to take a while before we can make any serious judgement on what's going on," he says.