IRS Warns of Service Delays When 2021 Tax-Filing Season Opens on Jan. 24

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Agency has several million backlog works from previous years

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This tax-filing season will be complicated for a few reasons, with an April 18 deadline for most individuals. For starters, the IRS is in a hole as it enters the year with several million backlog work from previous years, instead of about a million in a typical year. It stems from office closures during the pandemic, as well as the challenge of administering new tax benefits and programs created by Congress over the past two years.

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The IRS had 60 million unprocessed returns as of December 23, 2020, as well as 2.3 million unprocessed amended tax returns as of January 1. The agency is also lagging behind in processing employment-tax returns. IRS said it’s opening mail At its normal time but dealing with what’s in the envelopes is taking longer. People who have sent missing forms or documents should expect to wait more than 60 days for a response.

Taxpayers will also have to reflect child tax credits and economic stimulus payments received in 2021 on their returns, adding complexity and a source of potential confusion and mistakes.

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Officials are urging people to take several steps within 21 days of filing tax refunds. Basically, anything that doesn’t require human involvement and paperwork in the IRS can move quickly, while anything else can face significant delays.

Electronically filed returns are processed more quickly, as are requests for direct deposit rather than paper checks. The IRS urges people to establish online accounts Use the agency’s online explanation to find information on IRS.gov and whenever possible, rather than calling the agency.

Tax return on which child tax credit and economic stimulus information Match government files will proceed more quickly than returns that contain a discrepancy that an employee must resolve. The IRS is sending letters to taxpayers about their child credit and incentive payments. Taxpayers need not wait to process their 2020 returns to file their 2021 returns.

The IRS delayed the filing deadlines to 2020 and 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, there are no plans to do so, Treasury officials said Monday.

The Biden administration has requested more funding for the IRS—most of it for enforcement but also some for service improvements and better technology. Congress lent some money to March’s coronavirus-relief legislation, but much of it in Congress’s impasse on a $2 trillion climate, health and education law known as Build Back Better.

Write Richard Rubin [email protected] . Feather

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