A group of Republicans on the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee sent a letter Wednesday 02.18.21 to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig complaining about the backlog of approximately 11 million unprocessed tax returns from the 2019 tax year. The backlog of unprocessed mail from the pandemic has created a ripple effect that’s continuing into this year’s tax-filing season, which opened last Friday.
The problem isn’t only with the mail, which piled up last year in trailers outside IRS facilities until IRS employees could return to their offices and open it. While most of the millions of pieces of mail have reportedly been opened, much of it remains unprocessed. That’s causing headaches for taxpayers and tax professionals alike, who are coping with past due notices sent automatically by IRS computer systems, even when payments were sent months ago, according to the investigative news site ProPublica. Taxpayers have had trouble with receiving their Economic Impact Payments from last year and are also having trouble reaching the IRS by phone this year, with the agency continuing to be understaffed due to the pandemic and budget cuts in past years.