IRS attempts to reassure epidemic-panicked taxpayers

It’s tax season, and the Internal Revenue Service attempts to alleviate some of the epidemic-induced stress that many individuals will experience this year.

The IRS is still dealing with a backlog of over 6 million unprocessed individual tax returns that date back as far as 2019. Last week, the agency stated that it would stop sending automated reminders to filers behind their tax payments.

“In many cases, the tax return may be a part of our recent paper tax list and has simply not been examined,” the Internal Revenue Service stated in a written statement. To prevent misunderstanding, it is necessary to stop the distribution of these letters, which may have been sent to thousands of taxpayers.

Adding to this, Charlotte Crane, a law professor at Northwestern University, believes it would reduce anxiety. According to her email, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has systems set up to automatically send alerts to people when a tax return is delayed.

“However, there is now a significant backlog of tax returns that have been submitted but have not yet been processed.”

A large number of the taxpaying entities, according to Crane, “are really in a good place with the IRS because they have obtained praise for paying the taxes indicated due on those returns whether via withholding, estimated payments, or on filing the return because those deposits are made before the returns are processed even though their returns have not been fully processed.”

According to her, the IRS is choosing not to send out a warning “even if the IRS computers believe that the return is still missing” rather than “an unsettling automated message to a taxpayer who has submitted a return that has not yet been processed,” she said.

“It’s a wise decision on the part of the Internal Revenue Service,” said Brian Marks, director of the University of New Haven’s entrepreneurship and innovation program.

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According to him, “given the massive backlog of unprocessed tax forms as a consequence of the epidemic,” implementing this strategy is “a smart approach.” In addition to reducing uncertainty, the IRS will focus on its primary responsibility to process tax filings.

The Internal Revenue Service has been struggling to process tax returns promptly for some years, hampered by a mostly Republican unwillingness under Trump to boost its funds so that it can recruit more employees and update its computer system, as well as pandemic-related limits.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) begins the filing season with around a million returns that have not yet been processed. According to the agency, the sum is six times more this year.

“Our workers have worked long and hard hours throughout the epidemic to help taxpayers and effectively alter our systems, although we do not have the money that we need to provide acceptable service to the American people,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig stated.

This year, the IRS will no longer send out what are known as CP80 notifications to taxpayers who “have made a payment but do not seem to have filed,” according to spokesman Eric L. Smith.

CP80 and CP080 (Unfiled Tax Return — Credit on Account) letters have been halted, according to the Internal Revenue Service. “This is due to processing holds for 2019 and 2020 tax rescues,” the IRS stated.

If you get a notice for your 2019 return and you submitted it more than six months ago, you should refile the return.” If you get a notification for your 2020 tax return, do not submit a revised return.”

Because to Covid, several in-person IRS locations where paper tax forms are handled were forced to shut their doors. In conjunction with budget limitations, a further consequence of the coronavirus has been an overall 25% decrease in personnel.

The IRS workload grew considerably due to initiatives aimed to assist the nation in coping with the epidemic, like the enhanced child tax credits and the stimulus payments, which the federal government introduced.

As John Koskinen, former IRS commissioner under Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, said in an interview with The Washington Post, “By definition, no matter how much more efficient you are, you can’t lose 25 percent of your personnel and expect to be able to perform the same amount of work.”

Across the board, information technology, revenue agents, and those answering the phones are all experiencing difficulties.

The deadline to file your taxes for money earned in 2021 is April 18th. The government has said that there are no intentions to extend the deadline for the remainder of the calendar year.