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January 1, IRS Says to File Tax Returns ASAP — Here’s Why



The Internal Revenue Service says that Americans hoping to get their tax refund quickly should file their return electronically as soon as possible.

An IRS worker shortage and a backlog of unprocessed paper returns are just two factors contributing to what the agency anticipates will be a complicated tax season.

“The IRS right now has unacceptable backlogs and the customer service that people are receiving is not what the American public deserves,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

“The agency has not been equipped with the resources to adequately serve taxpayers in normal times, let alone during a pandemic.”

The IRS has 20,000 fewer workers than it did in 2010, and its budget is roughly 20% smaller. Additionally, more than 20% of the agency’s customer service employees have been unable to work due to pandemic-related health reasons.

National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins estimated the IRS had a backlog of more than 8.6 million unprocessed individual income tax returns, 2.8 million business returns, and roughly 5 million pieces of unanswered mail as of mid-December.

“There is no way to sugarcoat the year 2021 in tax administration: From the perspective of tens of millions of taxpayers, it was horrendous,” Collins wrote in a recent report, warning that the delays could be “as bad, and potentially worse” this year.


IRS urges Americans to file tax returns ASAP. Here’s why

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