CBS19: Federal lawmakers again call on IRS to address backlog, service issues


Several members of Congress are urging the Internal Revenue Service to clear its backlog of tax returns and address ongoing customer service issues.

Members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives teamed up on Tuesday to reiterate that the IRS needs to take immediate action regarding processing delays for tax returns.

According to a release, the members of Congress are also calling on the IRS to extend the suspension of automated notices and collections as well as continue to make maximum use of overtime and surge teams.

The bicameral group of lawmakers includes Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger.

The lawmakers sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig on Tuesday, saying the federal agency needs to detail its plan to eliminate its tax return backlog and speed up its return processing.

They are also calling on the agency to address the high number of unprocessed returns that has been growing over the last couple of years, share its refund delivery timelines, and answer questions regarding plans to expand its workforce to meet the demand.

“Since last year, numerous Members of Congress in the House and Senate have sent several letters regarding customer service issues, processing delays, and the outstanding backlog of returns,” wrote the lawmakers. “We believe that the IRS must take additional steps to improve customer service issues, decrease processing delays, and work-down the backlog of paper returns and correspondence by continuing the maximum use of overtime and surge teams, as well as the continued suspension of automated notices and collections, which have been critical in reducing pandemic-related tax return and correspondence backlogs.”

The National Taxpayer Advocate reports that the IRS’ paper return backlog has increased by 1.3 million and the agency has only been able to meet 12 percent of its hiring goals.

To read the full letter, click here.

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