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Spanberger Brings IRS Concerns of Central Virginians to U.S. House Floor, Urges IRS to Address Backlog in Tax Returns & Stimulus Checks to Seventh District Taxpayers

As of Mid-May 2020, the National Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS reported an Estimated Backlog of More than 4.7 Million Returns

Washington, July 30, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today urged the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to take swift steps to address a massive backlog of tax returns and Economic Impact Payments, or “stimulus checks.”

According to a June report from the IRS’ Taxpayer Advocate Service, the IRS recently had to suspend the processing of paper tax returns. As of May 16, the National Taxpayer Advocate reported an estimated backlog of 4.7 million paper returns at the IRS.

On the floor of the U.S. House today, Spanberger also pressed Congress to prioritize efforts to cut down on this backlog as thousands of Central Virginians and millions of Americans face financial uncertainty during the pandemic. Click here to watch her remarks, and a transcript of her remarks is below.


Over the past few months, I have heard from constituents across Central Virginia who have not yet received their recovery rebate checks or their 2019 federal tax refunds.

Congress created the recovery rebate program to address the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, and as families struggle — waiting for IRS checks to arrive, we know that the taxpayer correspondence which is necessary to process these checks and tax returns is currently sitting in trailers and office space leased specifically to store the backlog of mail.

This backlog is unacceptable, and Congress must take action to make clear that this backlog must be addressed, and we must give IRS the tools they need to address it — and make clear our expectations that they will.


Today’s remarks build on Spanberger’s work to bring clarity and relief to Americans still waiting for their 2019 tax returns and stimulus checks. Last month, Spanberger led a bipartisan effort calling on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to swiftly address its growing backlog of 2019 tax returns, which is delaying tax return payments.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Spanberger has pressed the IRS to provide accurate and up-to-date information about the status of taxpayers’ stimulus checks and refunds. In May 2020, Spanberger led a successful multi-Member effort pushing the IRS to address its deficient customer service resources, especially as her office continued to receive calls and emails from Central Virginians describing unhelpful interactions with the IRS. Soon after her push, the IRS announced the addition of 3,500 telephone representatives to answer questions about the status of Americans’ stimulus checks.


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