IRS: There are 24 million overdue 2021 tax returns

The large backlog of tax returns from last year puts the operation of the IRS at risk.

Photo: Nataliya Vaitkevich/Pexels

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a backlog of nearly 24 million tax returns for 2021. This situation can delay the processing of millions of taxpayers’ returns by up to 10 months, according to a report by The Washington Post.

Because of the amount of work that there is in the agency, there is a possibility that also processing of returns is delayed for this tax season.

IRS officials told the news outlet that the agency has faced obstacles related to the Covid pandemic, as there is an increased workload that includes processing pandemic relief payments.

The IRS indicated that the accumulation consists of 23.7 million returns requiring individual processing. The total includes 9.7 million paper returns that need to be reviewed, 4.1 million returns that have been flagged due to issues related to pandemic relief payments.

In addition, there are 4.1 million statements that have been modified and must be reviewed. The agency added that there are 5.8 million letters that need to be answered before related returns can be completed.

Since last year, Commissioner Charles Rettig has asked, in a congressional hearing, that legislators authorize a larger budget so that hire more staff and be able to train themsince doing so would make the operation more efficient and reduce delays.

Despite the commissioner urging members of Congress to support the agency, the week before, Republican senators sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Commissioner Rettig expressing concern about the backlog situation, calling it of “unsustainable”.

Republicans have suggested some ways to deal with the backlog, including calling for a suspension of levy issuance, reduced tax penalties and acceleration of form processing.

Meanwhile, Democratic legislator Richard Neal, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the agency needs more money, noting that this has not been possible because of the position Republicans have taken.

“Republicans have starved the IRS of funds, and now American taxpayers are paying the price.”

Given the challenges that the Internal Revenue Service is facing, Charles Rettig and his team decided to bring forward the tax season so that the returns corresponding to this year do not accumulate, since the objective is to be able to release as soon as possible refunds.

For this reason, the IRS asks filers to submit their documentation as soon as possible. To this end, it urges taxpayers to do so electronically, as well as add your bank details in order to make the process easier.

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