The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reassigned a total of 1,200 workers to assist the agency in navigating what is expected to be one of the most stressful tax filing seasons in recent years.
Assisting IRS to Cut Massive Backlogs
In an internal email sent out on Wednesday, Commissioner Chuck Rettig stated that the IRS would be reassigning staff who used to process tax returns and other paperwork back to their previous positions for the next eight months in order to help the agency reduce its massive backlog.
According to Politico, former customer service representatives, tax examiners, clerks, and others that worked in IRS offices within the last two fiscal years were included in Rettig’s email. However, he excluded those positions without direct involvement in case closures, such as managers and analysts.
The pandemic, which began about two years ago, led the Internal Revenue Service to temporarily close numerous facilities around the country and put most personnel to telework, resulting in a significant increase in the volume of mail the agency received from taxpayers, which began to pile up.
As reported by Market Watch, the backlog of 2020 income tax returns that have accumulated as a result of the epidemic is being discussed. According to Erin Collins, National Taxpayer Advocate, IRS had 6 million unprocessed individual tax returns, 2.3 million unprocessed amended returns, over 2 million unprocessed quarterly tax returns from employers, and 5 million pieces of correspondence from taxpayers as of late December.
The agency announced last month that it would discontinue the distribution of automated notices, in an effort to reduce taxpayer confusion, as per The Proclaimer. Tax professional groups believe the IRS has the authority to block more automated notices, which would reduce mail and confusion, but the IRS has stated that it must first amend the legislation in order to accomplish this goal.
During the early months of the pandemic, the IRS briefly ceased operations. That same year, it distributed three rounds of stimulus cheques and six months of Child Tax Credit advance payments.