Tax filing season begins January 24 and ends on April 18, and the Internal Revenue Service is warning filers that this will be a “frustrating” tax season.
Unfortunately, frustration is nothing new for many taxpayers. A recent briefing from the Treasury Department noted that in the first half of 2021, fewer than 15,000 IRS staff were available to handle 240 million incoming phone calls. That boils down to one employee to handle 16,000 inquiries! And according to the Taxpayer Advocate service, an independent organization within the IRS that provides annual reports to Congress, the agency still has a backlog of 6 million original returns, 2.3 million amended returns, 2 million employer quarterly returns, and 5 million pieces of taxpayer correspondence. Many taxpayers are still waiting for their refunds from last year.
Among the reasons for the delays: First, the IRS has been tasked to handle numerous pandemic-related relief programs. Also, its budget has been cut, and the Build Back Better Act, which would provide additional funds, is stalled in Congress. The agency’s staffing level has shrunk by 17% since 2010, but the number of individual returns to be processed has increased by 19%.
Tips To Avoid Delays
Don’t increase the chances that your refund will be delayed. Here are some tips to make sure you get your refund as quickly as possible:
- File electronically. The bulk of the unprocessed returns mentioned above are paper.
- Set up direct deposit so you don’t have to wait on a check. Directions on creating a direct deposit account with the IRS can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/refunds/get-your-refund-faster-tell-irs-to-direct-deposit-your-refund-to-one-two-or-three-accounts
- Make sure you provide the correct routing and account numbers – incorrect data could delay your return by weeks or months.
- Double check all your tax forms before filing. Make sure your numbers are correct, all information is provided, the appropriate forms and schedules are included.
Karp Law Firm’s CPA Available
Rebecca Maglio, The Karp Law Firm Certified Public Accountant, may be retained to assist with your income tax returns. You need not be a client of our firm to use her services. For the most efficient and timely filing, contact her without delay. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (561) 472-6066.
Check out this CBS News Video about the upcoming tax filing season and tips to avoid delays: