IRS says Americans filing in the first week has dropped more than 12%

(NBC) - Tax season is underway and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is out with their initial filing statistics.

The IRS says Americans are a bit more sluggish in filing their tax returns this year. The number of individual tax returns received in the first week dropped more than 12% from last year.

The IRS also reports a sharp 25% drop in the total number of tax returns actually processed in the opening week of tax season. And many Americans may be disappointed in their refund checks.

So far, the average tax refund paid out is smaller this year, averaging about $1,865 compared to $2,035 last year. An 8.4% drop.

The IRS says it expects to issue fewer refund checks (2.3%) due to the changes in the tax law.