With less than two weeks before the start of the 2022 tax filing season and more than 16 million outstanding tax returns at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), top Republicans at the Ways and Means Committee and Appropriations Committee called on IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to provide information on how the agency will address this crisis for hardworking taxpayers.
Within his first year in office, President Biden has overseen $6 trillion in total spending with more than $1 billion earmarked specifically by the Democrats for COVID response by the IRS, but the agency has not spent a dime on the backlog.
The members wrote:
“The ongoing IRS return processing backlog and related customer service failures have reached crisis levels as the new filing season approaches – we write to ask for an explanation of what significant actions the IRS will take in the coming weeks to mitigate this crisis. Urgent action is needed, and it is needed now.”
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“Since the start of the pandemic, Members of Congress have been expressing concerns about the unfolding crisis and urging you to take action to resolve the backlog as soon as possible. We understand that at this point significant tradeoffs may be required at the agency to meaningfully reduce the backlog in the next few weeks, but we think the time for such tradeoffs and drastic action is now.”
“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 means that more than 16 million returns are outstanding at the IRS with less than two weeks until the start of the new tax filing season.”
“Our offices are being flooded with requests for help from constituents who are unable to reach the IRS for assistance. This situation is an unfolding crisis that will only get worse without drastic action.”
In December, 99 House Republicans, including House Republican Leadership and all Ways and Means Republicans, called on IRS Commissioner Rettig to provide information on how the agency plans to resolve its process and prepare for the upcoming 2022 tax filing season.