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Letter: GOP Members Request Answers on IRS Tax Return Backlog Ahead of Upcoming Filing Season

December 10, 2021

With ongoing tax filing backlogs plaguing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 99 House Republicans, including House Republican Leadership and all Ways and Means Republicans, called for IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to provide information on how the agency plans to resolve its process and prepare for the upcoming 2022 tax filing season.

The members wrote:

“This massive backlog is causing significant and unnecessary burdens for families and small businesses who can’t get answers from the IRS about why their returns have not been processed. The IRS is in danger of falling into a vicious backlog cycle that will harm millions of taxpayers.”

CLICK HERE to read the full letter.

Key Excerpts: 

“As the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) prepares for the 2022 tax filing season, we write with great concern regarding the backlog of unprocessed returns from the current 2021 and 2020 filing seasons. Our concern is underscored by the frequent outreach we are receiving from our constituents about the processing delays and inadequate taxpayer assistance associated with the backlog. Moreover, the Taxpayer Advocate Service’s (TAS) recent decision to no longer accept any cases regarding amended returns will only exacerbate this problem.”


“Despite a voluntary compliance rate of over 80 percent in the United States, the Biden Administration has focused its advocacy efforts on securing mandatory funding for tens of thousands of additional IRS auditors and for provisions that would require financial institutions to transmit their customers’ private, sensitive data to the IRS. Given the feedback we are receiving from our constituents, it’s clear that too little attention is focused on the first aspect of the IRS’s stated mission: to ‘provide America’s taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities.’”

“According to recent data provided to Congress by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), there are currently more than 9.6 million unprocessed paper returns received in Calendar Year 2021, while an additional 5 million paper and e-file returns have been suspended during processing. Some portion of those 5 million returns is from the 2020 filing season, though we understand that TIGTA is unable to categorize returns in suspension by tax year.”  

“On December 1, 2021, the IRS launched its ‘Get Ready for Taxes’ campaign for the 2022 tax season. While we appreciate the IRS’s outreach to encourage taxpayer preparedness, we have serious doubts about the IRS’s own preparedness for the new season.”