The agency released data late Friday showing refunds are down for the third consecutive week, with the typical payment made through Feb. 15 totaling $2,703, compared to $3,256 during the same period last year.

This filing season is the first under Republicans’ overhaul of the tax code, and lawmakers have already been under fire as some taxpayers find their expected refunds smaller or gone altogether. The payments are sacrosanct to many Americans who rely on them to fill holes in their budgets.

The administration blamed the decline on what it said was a quirk in year-over-year comparisons.