In March of 2020, the IRS sent most of its employees home to work remotely due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This has caused a string of challenges for this upcoming tax deadline. Even though the IRS continued to process electronic returns and issue tax refunds through direct deposits while operating remotely, paper correspondence came to an abrupt halt. This has created a tremendous overflow of paper documents – both in the form of incoming mail and mail to be sent to Taxpayers.
The IRS Commissioner recently stated that they have 12.3 million pieces of mail, some of which include paper returns which are being processed at a rate of about one million returns per week. This overflow caused the IRS to rent tractor trailers and a separate storage space to store these documents until employees can return and sort through them. As of June 26, they had processed about 128.5 million returns and issued roughly 93 million refunds so far in total.
The IRS states that their main priority at this time is to get refunds out and to have customer service operations back up and running. They are in the process of reopening certain operations where it is safe to do so. The agency expects all processing facilities and call centers to be open by mid-July with employees following social distancing rules. As of now there are still roughly 50,000 IRS employees working remotely out of the 73,500 that the IRS employs.
If you haven’t received your return yet, or an answer on correspondence you’ve sent to the IRS, don’t panic! We also recommend that you don’t delay in resolving your IRS issues just because the IRS may be delaying efforts on their end. The IRS DOES intend to resume collections efforts beginning July 15, 2020. As always, if you have any questions or concerns feel free to call our offices.