Treasury Department Officials Warn American Taxpayers Could Face ‘Frustrating’ Tax-Filing Season Due to Pandemic Backlogs, Budget Cuts

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American taxpayers could beryllium successful for a “frustrating season” erstwhile it comes to filing their taxes this twelvemonth owed to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and fund cuts to the IRS, Treasury Department officials warned connected Monday.

The IRS volition start accepting and processing 2021 returns connected Jan. 24 and the filing deadline for astir taxpayers volition beryllium April 18 alternatively than April 15 due to the fact that of the Emancipation Day vacation successful Washington, the bureau announced connected Monday. Taxpayers successful Maine oregon Massachusetts person until April 19, owed to the Patriots’ Day vacation successful those states.

“Planning for the nation’s filing play process is simply a monolithic undertaking, and IRS teams person been moving non-stop these past respective months to prepare,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig successful Monday’s quality release. “The pandemic continues to make challenges, but the IRS reminds radical determination are important steps they tin instrumentality to assistance guarantee their taxation instrumentality and refund don’t look processing delays,” Rettig said.

IRS officials are urging taxpayers to record their taxes electronically with nonstop deposit and debar utilizing a insubstantial return. Officials called for “extra attention” for individuals who received an Economic Impact Payment oregon an beforehand Child Tax Credit successful 2021. “People should marque definite they study the close magnitude connected their taxation instrumentality to debar delays,” officials said.

But successful a phone telephone with reporters connected Tuesday, Treasury officials said they are predicting that the Internal Revenue Service volition look “enormous challenges” during this year’s taxation filing season, driven successful portion by years of fund cuts to the IRS and the important national stimulus measures introduced passim the pandemic, which person added to the tax agency’s already hefty workload, according to The Washington Post.

The IRS typically enters into filing play with a backlog of astir 1 million unaddressed returns but this twelvemonth is entering with what could beryllium “several times” that amount, the Treasury authoritative said.

As of Dec. 3, 2021, the IRS said it had processed astir 169 cardinal taxation returns. According to its website, arsenic of Dec. 23, 2021, it inactive had 6 cardinal unprocessed idiosyncratic returns.

A study conducted by the National Taxpayer Advocate, a watchdog group, successful June 2021 (pdf) recovered that the IRS ended past year’s filing play with more than 35 cardinal idiosyncratic and concern taxation returns that had not been processed, successful portion owed to delays in manual processing of returns, staffing issues, and IRS unit being incapable to support up with “the unprecedented measurement of payer telephone calls to the IRS’s toll-free lines” among different reasons.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw the United States participate aggregate lockdowns, which consequently resulted successful a fig of in-person taxation centers that would usually process insubstantial forms being forced to close, adding other unit connected the IRS, according to the Post.

GOP-led fund cuts to the IRS, which have led to a astir 25 percent alteration successful unit size are besides creating challenges this year, portion the unprecedented national stimulus measures introduced to assistance support Americans and the system afloat during the pandemic person also magnified those existing challenges.

The Epoch Times has contacted the IRS for comment.

Treasury officials told reporters that determination is presently nary program successful spot to widen the April 18 deadline for taxpayers to record their returns and encouraged them to bash truthful early, according to the Post. They besides urged individuals to marque an IRS.gov relationship and record returns online.

“Despite valiant efforts by our employees handling a ample portfolio and caller responsibilities, we inactive are moving done taxation returns filed successful 2021 and we are incapable to reply an unprecedented fig of telephone calls,” Rettig said successful a connection connected Jan. 7. “Simply put, successful galore areas we are incapable to present the magnitude of work and enforcement that our taxpayers and taxation strategy deserves and needs. This is frustrating for taxpayers, for IRS employees, and for me.”

“IRS employees privation to bash more, and we volition proceed successful 2022 to bash everything imaginable with the resources disposable to us. And we volition proceed to look for ways to improve. We privation to present arsenic overmuch arsenic imaginable portion besides protecting the wellness and information of our employees and taxpayers. Additional resources would assistance our employees bash much successful 2022—and beyond,” Rettig said.

Katabella Roberts

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Katabella Roberts is simply a newsman presently based successful Turkey. She covers quality and concern for The Epoch Times, focusing chiefly connected the United States.