The Internal Revenue Service warned on Tuesday that taxpayers will likely face delays while the agency continues to deal with a backlog and a shortage of staff, CNBC reports.
As of December 23, the agency has received 6 million individual returns that have yet to be processed, and during the first half of last year there were less than 15,000 IRS workers to handle over 240 million incoming calls. A Taxpayer Advocate Service mid-year report found that less than 1-in-10 taxpayers were able to connect with an agent during the 2021 filing season.
"Planning for the nation's filing season process is a massive undertaking, and IRS teams have been working non-stop these past several months to prepare," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.
"The pandemic continues to create challenges, but the IRS reminds people there are important steps they can take to help ensure their tax return and refund don’t face processing delays,” he continued. “Filing electronically with direct deposit and avoiding a paper tax return is more important than ever this year. And we urge extra attention to those who received an Economic Impact Payment or an advance Child Tax Credit last year. People should make sure they report the correct amount on their tax return to avoid delays.”
He also noted that “In many areas, we are unable to deliver the amount of service and enforcement that our taxpayers and tax system deserves and needs. This is frustrating for taxpayers, for IRS employees and for me. IRS employees want to do more, and we will continue in 2022 to do everything possible with the resources available to us. And we will continue to look for ways to improve. We want to deliver as much as possible while also protecting the health and safety of our employees and taxpayers. Additional resources are essential to helping our employees do more in 2022 – and beyond.”
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