Tax Season: How IRS Is Working to Avoid Return Processing Delays

by Madison Miller
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It’s tax season, which for many people means one very important thing — tax return money in their bank account. This money can be especially helpful for those struggling financially due to the hardships brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the IRS is dealing with staffing shortages and other difficulties also as a result of the pandemic. This can make giving people those tax returns in a timely matter that much more difficult. As of now, the IRS is currently taking as many steps as possible to avoid any unnecessary delays.

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig told reporters that those who file their tax returns online and also request direct deposit should receive the money within 21 days. The IRS is sifting through a huge backlog of tax returns but is making it a priority in the coming months.

“We know people are struggling. We want them to know that we are doing everything that we can to help … want to deliver refunds quickly, we want to serve as many people in the manner that they deserve, and we want to work to catch up on past tax returns that have been affected by the pandemic,” Rettig said, according to the Federal News Network.

There are still unprocessed tax returns from last year, amongst other work, sitting waiting for the IRS’ attention. There is a massive number of phone calls going to the agency, but not nearly enough workers to handle the duties. Rettig said that “phone lines have been jammed, and our phone lines, we anticipate, will continue to be jammed for the foreseeable future.”

The IRS tried to move things along more efficiently by accepting and processing tax returns starting on January 24 this year. The deadline of April 18 to file taxes seems to be staying put as of now. Those who need an extension are still able to do so and will instead file by October 15.

Important Things to Remember this Tax Season

The most important thing to remember this season is to file electronically and select direct deposit. The processing times for pieces of mail come with a lot of delays. The online process will make everything smoother, both for taxpayers and the IRS.

Although this could be a frustrating tax season the IRS assures it will “[make] sure the current tax season goes smoothly.” The IRS is also urging people to file as quickly as possible.

If you’re a remote worker your tax return may look different this year too. According to U.S. News, 69% of U.S. employees worked remotely at some point in April 2020. That number has shifted closer to 51% now. This remote work can have tax advantages like transportation costs and reduced housing. However, other workers may see that some states are aggressive in their taxation on nonresident workers. Some remote workers can save by relocating to different low-tax states.

Outsider.com