On Tuesday, the Internal Revenue Service or IRS revealed that it will have erased backlogs of tax returns from last season by the end of the week.
As of writing, the IRS has processed 143 trillion million tax returns from this year’s tax season. Given this, officials from the agency revealed that there is a greater possibility of being caught up with regard to processing all returns by the end of 2022.
IRS Overwhelmed with Tens of Millions of Tax Returns Backlog
The IRS has faced a backlog of tax returns in the tens of millions, along with overwhelmed customer service phone systems, which officials have blamed on decades-worth of underfunding as well as old internal computer systems.
“To date, more than twice as many returns await processing compared to a typical year at this point in the calendar year, although the IRS has worked through almost a million more returns to date than it had at this time last year,” the IRS said in a statement Tuesday.
The IRS also received a new workload over the past couple of years: managing and executing COVID-19 pandemic-related programs, including advanced Child Tax Credit payments as well as the stimulus checks.
These relatively new workloads come on top of an IRS workforce that’s the same size as it has been back in 1970, even though the country’s population has become exponentially bigger and the U.S. tax code becoming more complicated.
An anonymous Treasury official stated that IRS employees have collectively worked around 500,000 overtime hours just to work on the backlog.
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