As the 2022 tax season quickly approaches, the Internal Revenue service is already behind due to over 11 million unprocessed tax returns left over from the 2021 tax season.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought an influx of additional work for the IRS, including sending out economic impact payments and child tax credit payments. The treasury department could be facing even worse delays this year due to the ongoing pandemic and underfunding. The Internal Revenue Service will begin accepting tax year returns for the 2022 tax season on Monday, January 24, 2022.
Why is the IRS in crisis mode if they decided to start tax season early?
As of December 3, 2021, the IRS processed about 169 million tax returns and still had around 8.6 million unprocessed individual returns and more than 3 million business returns left over from the previous year. With over 141 million calls just during January 1st-May 17th last year, the IRS only answered about 11% of those calls. Along with those calls, the IRS’ “Where’s My Refund?” tool was used 130 million times more than previous years. Although, the “Where’s My Refund?” tool is helpful, it does not give a specific reason as to why a return was not sent out, why there is a delay, or what the status is of the return which leaves taxpayers with their questions unanswered. In addition to the heavier workload, the IRS’ budget has shrunk around 20% in the last decade and their workforce has shrunk by about 17%.
Taxpayers should begin gathering all necessary paperwork to file their taxes so they can get their return set in at the earliest date possible. Organize and gather 2021 tax records including Social Security numbers, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, Adoption Taxpayer Identification Numbers, and this year’s Identity Protection Personal Identification Numbers valid for calendar year 2022. Use IRS.gov/account to access personal tax account information including balance, payments, and tax records including adjusted gross income.
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