By Alexandria Hoff

Follow CBSPHILLY Facebook  | Twitter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Tax season is upon us, and many who got an early jump on filing this year may have been a little shocked at the amount of their refunds.

READ MORE: Philadelphia City Council Calling On SEPTA To Take Action After Several Violent, High-Profile Incidents On Transit System

Receiving a smaller refund does not mean that a person paid more in taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center. Most Americans actually did get a cut because of the 2017 reform, but a big refund check does feel good.

Caught in the woes of winter, a sizable tax refund can really warm the spirit.

“I’m still paying off those student loans, so it’s nice to have a little bit of that extra cash,” one woman said.

“I usually spend it on motorcycle parts because I have three Harleys,” one man said.

Philadelphia Homeowners Fed Up With Increasing Property Tax Bill

But three weeks into tax season, tax refunds are on the decline.

IRS data shows that through Feb. 15, the average refund was 16 percent smaller than last year.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Heartbroken Mother Of 16-Year-Old Kanye Davis Speaks After Son Shot 8 Times, Killed

The IRS also expects more people to owe because of the Trump Administration’s revisions to the tax law.

“I didn’t owe, but I didn’t get back as much as I did in previous years,” said Tisha Williams.

Williams, a tax specialist with Liberty Tax on Broad Street, says it’s been hard having to explain to customers that due to the revamped tax code, their tax cut was likely seen in their paychecks and therefore, a large refund may not be heading their way.

“Before Thanksgiving, Christmas, that money is already spent so they are looking to get that money back to take care of bills,” said Williams.

New Jersey Residents Could Be Hit With ‘Rain Tax’

If a person prefers a large annual refund over a larger paycheck or just wants to try warding off owing the federal government, Williams suggests contacting your employer and claiming fewer allowances on the 2019 W-4 form.

“Claim zero, so that they are taking out in much in taxes as possible that way at the end of the year, you can see something and then just invest,” said Williams.

In 2017, Delaware residents ranked first in highest tax refunds. New Jersey came in second and there are a lot of factors that go into that.

MORE NEWS: Officials Introduce People Over Politics Petition Calling For Change In Rules For Pennsylvania Politicians

It’s unclear if that will hold true this tax season.