The Internal Revenue Service computer systems are more than 50 years old, and you should not expect miracles. Taxes are going unpaid because returns aren’t being processed. Phone calls go unanswered, and correspondence takes almost a year to process. The caseload of the Taxpayer Advocate Service—a division that “helps taxpayers solve problems with the IRS and recommends changes to prevent them assists taxpayers”—rose 58% from 2017 to 2021.
Nothing has changed, but Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig promised to House lawmakers last week to have all of the unprocessed tax returns by December 2022, USA Today reports.
This announcement comes shortly after the IRS said it was hiring 10,000 new employees to address the backlog of unprocessed tax returns. 5,000 of these new employees will be hired this year, and the other half next year.
For new tax returns, the IRS is creating a 700-person team. The IRS will shift employees to handle the unprecedented number of returns at centers in Kansas City, Missouri; Austin, Texas; and Ogden, Utah.
“Each return represents an individual, a family, a business desperately awaiting needed refunds from last year,” she said.
Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif. called Rettig’s announcement “very, very encouraging.”
“Each return represents an individual, a family, a business desperately awaiting needed refunds from last year,” she said. Budget cuts are said to have resulted in the backlog. Republicans are reportedly looking to make even more cuts to the IRS.
“If the IRS budget was cut by 50%, you might be better off and save more money by just shutting it down completely,” Retti’s added. “We account for 96% of the gross revenue of the United States of America. How are you going to fund what we need to fund and what every American deserves? … Cutting our budget is not the right answer.”