(WWLP) – Tax season is underway and when it comes to that sought-after refund the IRS says, don’t get your hopes up.

22News spoke to local Tax Expert, Ray Maagero, about the changes to tax rules, he explained, “It’s going to be more normal than in 2022, although it’s not going to feel very good on your checkbook, it’s going to be more normal.”

Maagero added that less generous tax breaks stemming from pandemic relief expirations is what’s behind the lower refunds.

“The pandemic really, congress decided that they wanted to get a whole lot of additional money to help taxpayers. Those rules are all changing back to ’20 and ’19 rules,” he continued..

Typically you can expect a federal refund if you’ve overpaid on your yearly taxes or you’ve withheld more than what you owe. But, now that tax breaks have returned to previous levels the amount won’t be as high.

In 2021, for example, the child tax credit was enhanced to up to $3600 per child and the child & dependent care tax credit was worth up to $4000 per dependent. With “normal” tax breaks those numbers return to a maximum of $2,000 per child for the child tax credit and $1050 for child & dependent care tax credit.

Local taxpayers like David Demmon of Ludlow expressed some disappointment over the reduction, “Not just me, but everyone else, I feel like there are a lot of people that definitely depend on that.”

The good news? Even with the return to pre-pandemic number the difference won’t be too big.

“There’s going to be a small change,” Maagero noted.

Tax experts anticipate that the reduced refund checks will likely impact lower-middle and lower-income taxpayers.