Why the IRS Is Warning of ‘Frustrating’ Tax Season Delays This Year

by Madison Miller

It’s always best to be prepared.

Now, experts are warning us to be prepared for a lot of frustration. While tax season is certainly usually frustrating all on its own, there will be certain factors making this year even more upsetting for people.

The IRS is warning people that due to the pandemic and budget cuts, the tax filing season ahead may be more nerve-wracking than it usually is. So, what exactly do we have to worry about?

“Listen, the bottom line is that the IRS right now is behind and in a very big way. It’s understaffed, it’s underfunded, it’s trying to work through the pandemic with staffing shortages and tax law changes. That could mean delays for you when you file your taxes. They are going to start accepting returns in two weeks, but for most of us, returns are not due until April 18,” Tom Costello said during a segment on the “Today” show.

Preparing for Tax Seasons Beforehand

Despite that deadline months away, there are plenty people should be taking into account now.

For reference, IRS staffing is at the same level it was about 50 years ago. This means the IRS does not have the necessary staffing to best accommodate the U.S. population.

Costello goes on to also share that there are only less than 15,000 workers to take on 240 million calls. Although many Americans may get very frustrated this season, it’s beneficial to understand that frustration exists on both sides.

So, what’s the best way to not get frustrated?

File those taxes as early as you possibly can. Most importantly, be sure to file them electronically, not using physical forms. When you decide to file online and also select direct deposit, that will be the quickest way to get your tax money in your account and ready to use. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people may be more desperate for funds to assist them during these hard times.

If you file in this format, you likely will not experience delays. You should get that return back in about 21 days.

Nation’s Tax Filing Starts Earlier

The IRS said that the agency will begin accepting and processing the 2021 tax returns on January 24.

This is supposed to allow the IRS more time to ensure that everything runs smoothly. This includes making sure people claim the right amount with the Child Tax Credit. It also includes claiming any remaining stimulus money as a Recovery Rebate Credit.

“Planning for the nation’s filing season process is a massive undertaking, and IRS teams have been working non-stop these past several months to prepare … Filing electronically with direct deposit and avoiding a paper tax return is more important than ever this year. And we urge extra attention to those who received an Economic Impact Payment or an advance Child Tax Credit last year. People should make sure they report the correct amount on their tax return to avoid delays,” the IRS wrote in a news statement.