Home » Economy » IRS tax-filing season to kick off on Jan. 24
IRS tax-filing season to kick off on Jan. 24
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The Internal Revenue Service said Monday that it will begin accepting 2021 individual income tax returns on Jan. 24 – and administration officials are already warning of a "frustrating" season for taxpayers as the agency grapples with a backlog of returns from previous years.
"In many areas, we are unable to deliver the amount of service and enforcement that our taxpayers and tax system deserves and needs. This is frustrating for taxpayers, for IRS employees and for me," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement. "IRS employees want to do more, and we will continue in 2022 to do everything possible with the resources available to us."
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The difficulty this season stems from a massive backlog of paper returns: The IRS usually enters the tax-filing season with fewer than 1 million remaining items to address, but due to the pandemic and related disruptions, it has a much more severe accumulation of paperwork this year. Treasury officials did not provide an exact figure, but suggested that it was several times more than 1 million.
There are several reasons for the delays. The IRS was grappling office closures as well as the herculean task of delivering millions of stimulus checks in 2020 and 2021, all whiile trying to adapt major changes to the tax code in the middle of the filing season. The agency is also grossly understaffed; it has 20,000 fewer staff than it did in 2010, and its budget is roughly $11.4 billion – 20% less than it was in 2010, when adjusted for inflation, according to the Congressional Budget Office.