After months of Republican pressure to take action on the more than 20 million tax return backlog, the IRS announced today it will use money in its existing budget to hire 10,000 workers to address the crisis. IRS officials do not expect to resolve the backlog until the end of 2022.
Ways and Means Republicans urged the Administration and IRS Commissioner Rettig for over a year to address the backlog, while Democrats and President Biden instead sought over $80 billion in government spending to spy on personal transactions and turn local banks into branches of the IRS.
Ways and Means Republican Leader Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) issued the following statement:
“The IRS is finally recognizing that this historic backlog is not due to a lack of funding, but due to its neglect in using the tools it has.
“For months, House Republicans have urged the IRS to use the remaining $1.4 billion Congress gave it to address this crisis, rather than simply seek even more money.
“This is a positive step forward, though we remain concerned that it took this long for the Biden Administration to take action to help American taxpayers.”
Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight Republican Leader Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) issued the following statement:
“I’m pleased the IRS is taking its backlog of 24 million tax returns seriously after numerous requests by House Republicans to do so.
“Instead of throwing more money at their self-inflicted problems, they will use existing funds from the surplus of ARPA money Congress provided for this very reason.
“The IRS has done American taxpayers a disservice over the past couple of years, and it’s encouraging to see them taking steps in the right direction to resolve this crisis.”
In a letter to the IRS on January 19, 2022, top Republicans called for this action. Rep. Brady and Rep. Rice were joined by Appropriations Republican Leader Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) and Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) in a letter, writing:
“This crisis is not due to a lack of funding. We understand that the IRS began fiscal year 2022 with more than $1.4 billion in unobligated supplemental funds that it received from Congress over the last year. We would like to understand why those funds have not been used to address this crisis.”
This call was repeated in a follow up letter sent February 2, 2022, referenced in Rep. Rice’s remarks in an Oversight Subcommittee hearing:
“We want to know what precise, significant actions the IRS will take in the coming weeks to mitigate the backlog and customer service crisis at the agency. It is our understanding that the IRS began fiscal year 2022 with more than $1.4 billion in unobligated supplemental funds that it received from Congress over the last year. We would like to understand why these funds have not been used to address the backlog crisis.”