IRS Backlog Creating Most Challenging Tax Filing Season

This year, millions of taxpayers are awaiting the processing of their tax returns and receipt of their refunds. The backlog—unprocessed returns and correspondence sent to the IRS but yet unanswered—has created one of the most challenging tax filing seasons in our nation’s history.

According to the Treasury and IRS recent press release, the IRS’s backlog challenges stem from two key sources.

"First, the agency has been chronically underfunded for more than a decade, with its budget cut by nearly 20% since 2010. Today’s historically low level of funding means that the IRS isn’t equipped to provide the American people the service they deserve. This is all a result of resource constraints: The IRS workforce is the same size it was in 1970, though the U.S. population has grown by 60 percent and the complexity of the economy has increased exponentially. In the first half of 2021, fewer than 15,000 workers handled nearly 200 million calls received, which translates to one person for every 13,000 calls.

Second, the pandemic created a unique set of new operational challenges for the IRS. The agency was called upon to support emergency relief for taxpayers, like distributing an unprecedented three rounds of Economic Impact Payments, totaling over $830 billion, to 85% of American households. Including individual refunds, the IRS has distributed over $1.5 trillion to Americans since the pandemic began. This was all done at a time when the IRS budget was at historic lows, and while adjusting operating protocols to ensure the IRS workforce was safe and healthy in the midst of the pandemic.

These circumstances have created significant challenges. Entering a normal filing season, the IRS typically has well under one million pieces of inventory. This year, the IRS entered the filing season with a backlog that is more than 15 times as large. This has a huge impact on people, and Commissioner Rettig has committed to addressing the backlog and returning to normal, healthy levels by the end of this year."

We have all been frustrated waiting to get answers to questions and issues resolved with the IRS. It has certainly been a challenging time. We look forward to 'business as usual' and hope it comes soon. 


DJL Accounting & Consulting Group, Inc.
1570 South Canfield-Niles Road #C102
Youngstown, Ohio 44515 

Phone:  330 779 0781



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