KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — If you usually bank on getting a couple hundred dollars from your tax return, this might not be your year.
The IRS says the average tax refund check is down 8 percent, or about $170 less this year compared to last year.
Tax experts say this comes from the tax overhaul law that passed in 2017.
When Olivia Greenlee filed her taxes this year, her refund took her by surprise.
"It was about $500 lower than it was last year," Greenlee said. "I don't know particularly why."
Greenlee is married and has three kids, and she says that money goes a long way.
"Obviously that takes away from my family and the things I get to do for them," Greenlee said.
Greenlee may not be alone.
The IRS says so far Americans have filed nearly 4.67 million refunds in 2019.
The average refund is $1,865, down from an average of $2,035 last year.
Certified public accountant Phil Chandler says it depends on the household, but the changes made by the 2017 tax overhaul are starting to take shape-- like changes to standard deductions, exemptions and tax brackets.
"So they did try to do the best they can to go back to everybody and say, 'Hey, you probably ought to look at how many exemptions you're declaring on your paycheck.' A lot of people did not do that," Chandler said.
He said getting a smaller refund doesn't mean you're paying the government more.
"It just simply means you did not give them extra money throughout the year," Chandler said.
It's a lesson learned for Greenlee who says next year, she's going to get a little more help.
"So that is something that all of us are going to have to be more cautious of for next year, just what has changed, what we need to do," Greenlee said.
The Knoxville-Knox County CAC has free tax assistance through April 15. It's located at the L.T. Ross Building at 2247 Western Ave. in Knoxville.
Its hours are:
MONDAYS & WEDNESDAYS: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
SATURDAYS (FEBRUARY ONLY): 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
You can contact the CAC at (865) 546-3500.