Alexandria, VA, December 13, 2021 - Amid a staggering backlog of millions of unprocessed individual returns and a bottleneck of unprocessed tax forms, 99 House Republicans sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, calling on the IRS to provide information about preparations for the upcoming tax filing season.
The lawmakers cited recent data provided to Congress by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. They noted, “there are currently more than 9.6 million unprocessed paper returns received in calendar year 2021, while an additional 5 million paper and e-file returns have been suspended during processing.”
The Republicans’ concerns mirror those voiced by NSA in a letter to Congress and Commissioner Rettig last month.
In NSA's letter, the organization states that greater transparency and improved communication from the IRS are needed to assuage the growing frustrations and fears among tax and accounting professionals regarding the 2022 tax filing season. “Taxpayers and practitioners need the IRS to be more transparent and forthright about the status of its operations. Reporting out that the agency is ‘caught up on mail,’ for example, does not equate to such correspondence being processed and resolved. And while providing general backlog estimates may help paint a picture of the problem, it shines little to no light on taxpayers’ specific concerns.”
Echoing NSA’s call for transparency, Congress requests a response to the following questions:
- What is the IRS’s plan to process the paper returns from previous seasons before the official start of the 2022 filing season?
- How is the IRS working to resolve issues with returns that were suspended during the 2021 season?
- Is the IRS back to work regularly in person? If not, how is it working to bring employees back and provide a safe environment?
- Will the agency use existing authority to hire extra non-enforcement employees to help process tax returns?
- How will the IRS alleviate burdens of taxpayers who have 2020 or 2021 tax returns that won’t be processed by the beginning of the 2022 filing season?
House Republicans solicit answers to these questions by December 17, 2021.