Great Britain

IRS is holding 29MILLION tax returns and delaying refunds for Americans

OVER 29 million tax returns are earmarked for manual processing, possibly delaying the tax refunds for millions of people, and prompting people to call the agency for any updates.

The National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent branch of the tax agency, said the IRS is sending out notices to people telling them they may experience longer than normal waits for their payments.

Usually, the IRS sends refunds within three weeks of a taxpayer's filing of their return, but due to several issues this year, the agency thinks that time might be elongated.

One of those issues include a backlog of 2019 paper tax returns that the IRS was unable to process after it closed its offices during the coronavirus pandemic.

The delay is expected to impact tax returns that need corrections due to changes made by the Recovery Rebate Credit, a tax credit adjustment for people who were owed more stimulus money.

Likewise, the delay would impact those who need to verify income for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).

"This work does not require us to correspond with taxpayers but does require special handling by an IRS employee, so in these instances, it is taking the IRS more than 21 days to issue any related refund," the IRS said in a March 18 post. 

According to an April 22 report by the Treasury Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration, the IRS is taking a hit when it comes to helping taxpayers.

The agency hasn't reopened all of its Taxpayer Assistance Centers by the fall after it shut down last year at the pandemic. Likewise, callers have longer wait times than before Covid-19.

However, Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins said the IRS has processed far more tax returns that not, adding it already went through 91 million individual tax returns filed for 2020, and sent out over 68 million refunds as of uet.

It also distributed over 161 million payments for the third stimulus check over the last several weeks, on top of its usual tax season workload.

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