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Taxpayer Advocate’s Mid-Year Review and Recommendations to the IRS

| Jun 30, 2021 | IRS |

The IRS National Taxpayer Advocate, Erin Collins, has issued her annual mid-year report to Congress in which she identifies the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the filing season.  The IRS completed the filing season this year with a backlog of more than 35 million individual and business tax returns in the queue for manual review due to a variety of reasons, including discrepancies and potential errors.  The IRS was inundated during the filing season with four times more incoming phone calls than it received the entire prior year.  In addition to the traditional work of the IRS, Congress entrusted the IRS to issue three rounds of stimulus payments, totaling approximately 475 million payments totaling over $807 billion dollars.  All things considered, the IRS has done an excellent job processing more than 136 million individual tax returns and 96 million refunds during the 2021 filing season.  These results are consistent with the 2019 filing season.  The Taxpayer Advocate has recommended proactive steps to improve communications between the IRS and taxpayers, and with their technology.  With the additional funding appropriated by Congress to fund IRS operations, the IRS should be able to modernize information technology systems, and hire more necessary staff.

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