Tax preparers see spike after new tax changes

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) -- Sobering numbers for people who have already filed their 2018 tax returns. The I-R-S reports the average refund is down 8-percent -- about 170-dollars.

But experts say the numbers aren't what they seem.

At Star City Tax Pros, owner Ellis Wimmer's seeing more people come through this doors... looking for a second set of eyes on their yearly filing.

"I am definitely willing to help," Wimmer said.

But some of those customers are scratching their heads. They're seeing smaller tax refund checks this year, in spite of the new tax overhaul is designed to fatten your bank account.

"It affects them when they are expecting X number of dollars and that X number of dollars it's two or $300 less," Wimmer added.

Wimmer -- and other tax preparers we spoke with -- say those two-thirds of households are paying less -- but you already received the cuts because less money was withheld from your paycheck -- meaning you got a smaller boost every pay period throughout the year.

"A couple of them have been very concerned about it. I had one lady when Dave who called her place in employment and said: "why did you change this without telling me?" he said.

If you're used to the big yearly refund check, you can make that happen next year -- just call your HR or payroll department and tell them you want to withhold some more money each pay period.