IRS heads into new tax season with backlog from previous year

The new tax season is here, and the IRS is still facing some backlog issues.

An agency watchdog report found that millions of returns from last year haven’t been processed yet.

This comes as some lawmakers are critical of the IRS receiving additional funding.

The IRS expects more than 168 million tax returns will be filed this season. This estimate includes the ongoing backlog from last year.

“I’m extremely confident because last year the IRS cleared more paper than at any point in the IRS’ history,” said Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo from the U.S. Treasury Department.

Deputy Secretary Adeyemo said the IRS is making several changes after receiving $80 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act last year. Those changes include hiring more than five thousand new employees to help people with their taxes. There’s also more effort to improve technology at the agency.

“Now we can digitize more of the paper returned to come in, which will allow us to move through them quickly,’ said Adeyemo.

Earlier this month, House Republicans voted to rescind that extra money from the IRS.

“Through the Inflation Reduction Act, the Democrats used the tools of the IRS to increase reckless spending,” said Rep. Carol Miller (R - West Virginia).

This measure likely won’t pass in the Democrat-controlled senate

However, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo said less money for IRS means worse service for taxpayers.

“It would mean that those Americans, especially wealthy Americans, who decide not to pay their taxes, the IRS would have less resources to go after those individuals,” said Deputy Secretary Adeyemo.

But still, some experts say this may be another frustrating year for taxpayers.

“It’s really important for the IRS to not only hire but hire quality people,” Steve Ellis, President of Taxpayers for Common Sense. “They need to pick up the pace of hiring, and then that’s going to see a better product for taxpayers.

Ellis said this year may be another frustrating one for taxpayers but less compared to other years. He said the additional resources is a step in the right direction.

“And now we have to, we can hold their feet to the fire and make sure that they’re actually delivering for taxpayers,” said Ellis.

Treasury officials say if you file your taxes online, you should get a return in just a few weeks. But if you file with paper forms, there’s no way to know how long it will take.

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