CBS19: Letter calls on IRS to address backlog, communication problems


Lawmakers in both chambers of Congress are urging the Internal Revenue Service to address ongoing backlogs and other issues.

Nearly four dozen members of Congress, including Representative Abigail Spanberger and Senator Mark Warner, sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig on Thursday.

According to a release, the letter urges the IRS to take immediate action to reduce a massive backlog, improve customer service, and reduce disruptions for taxpayers during the 2022 filing season.

The lawmakers specifically urge the IRS to consider pursuing maximum overtime options for its staff and expanding surge teams to address processing and correspondence delays.

“As the IRS works to eliminate the current backlog of returns and correspondence, we request you to pursue additional actions to maximize the IRS’ current workforce to address the backlog in order to reduce disruptions this filing season,” wrote the lawmakers. “We continue to hear from constituents who are still waiting for their 2020 tax returns, have received confusing notices about overdue payments they already paid, and cannot reach anyone at the IRS for assistance. Many of these problems stem from the millions of unprocessed correspondence items from 2021. We understand the long-term solution to ensure the IRS can manage its workload and provide timely and high-quality service to taxpayers is additional resources to hire and train employees across several departments and modernize technologies. However, those investments will take time, and taxpayers require more immediate relief, especially with the 2022 filing season already underway.”

Also on Thursday, Warner questioned IRS National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins during a Senate Finance Committee hearing, asking about extending the tax filing deadline and whether or not such an action would be beneficial due to the ongoing backlogs.

The House of Representatives version of the letter is here, while the Senate one is here.

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