Daily Update on Taxes From The Business Tax Advisors at Wouch Maloney in Horsham

IRS Backlog and Communication Struggles

We may be four weeks past the May 17th deadline from the extended tax season of 2021, but some of you are still waiting to know the status of your tax returns.  For others, they may still be waiting for answers regarding tax returns from the extended tax season of 2020. Today, we are providing details and statistics from the IRS regarding delays.

Senate Subcommittee Hearing

Last month, Erin M. Collins, the National Taxpayer Advocate with the IRS, provided a written statement for a Senate Subcommittee hearing on “Internal Revenue Service: Narrowing the Tax Gap and Improving Taxpayer Services”. Contained within her written statement were details of significant challenges taxpayers are experiencing including:

IRS telephone service in 2021 has been historically poor.

  • The IRS received more than 150 million calls during the filing season (through May 1). Employees answered 13.3 million – just nine percent.
  • About 90% of calls came in on lines that fit under the “Accounts Management” umbrella. On those lines, fewer than seven percent of taxpayers reached a telephone assistor.
  • The largest Accounts Management line is the “1040” number. IRS received about 82 million calls on the 1040 number, and only about 2.6% of callers got through to an employee (one out of 38).
  • The IRS does not yet offer robust online accounts and mail processing is significantly delayed, the toll-free lines remain the best or only option for most taxpayers who need to communicate with IRS or are seeking answers regarding delays in their refunds or stimulus payments.

A backlog of 30 million individual and business income tax returns require manual processing. The breakdown of the processing backlog is as follows:

According to the IRS website, it is taking the IRS more than 21 days to issue refunds for some 2020 tax returns that require review including incorrect Recovery Rebate Credit amounts, or that used 2019 income to figure the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).

If you implemented any of the above and still waiting for a refund, we do recommend using the “Where’s My Refund?” link to obtain your refund status.

If you are interested in reading the entire written testimony from the IRS, please click here.


Should you have questions about this topic, or any other topics related to your personal or business situation, please contact us at any time.

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