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IRS Warns Taxpayers of Refund Delays as Agency Still in Experiencing Backlogs from Last Season

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Despite now being at the height of tax season, Treasury Department officials warn that they are experiencing difficulties due to an unfinished backlog of millions of previous-year returns. It is estimated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that 160 million individual tax returns will be filed this year.

Important steps to avoid delays

According to ABC Action News, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose difficulties, but the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that there are crucial precautions they may take to avoid delays. Government tax officials have stated that if individuals follow these steps, they can fairly expect a refund within 21 days of filing their returns.

  • File taxes online
  • Set up direct deposit to receive refunds as soon as they become available
  • File as early as possible and make sure that returns are free of errors

Experts have noted that if taxpayers do not file electronically, the possibility of delays grows significantly.

Luke Richardson, Associate Professor of Instruction at USF’s School of Accounting, said that if a taxpayer makes any errors on their return if that is a paper return, there are invariably and unfortunately delays caused by those things.

2022 filing season is behind schedule

According to Forbes, IRS is behind schedule after millions of returns from last year are still unprocessed, said National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins. This includes 6 million original individual returns, 2.3 million amended individual returns, and over two million employer quarterly tax returns.

A tax expert said that last year was the worst year for taxpayers trying to call the IRS. Taxpayers could only reach 11 percent of customer service representatives in 2021, and those who did waited an average of 23 minutes.

As per the report, Collins suggested that the IRS should look for ways to compensate processing personnel better, reduce hiring delays, and use outside consultants to help.

She also advised suspending automatic collections until the IRS processes original and revised tax returns, as well as taxpayer correspondence, and waiting 45 days after the IRS replies to taxpayer responses to proposed adjustments, liability assessments, and math errors before resuming automated collections.

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