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IRS Says it Will Solve Backlog of Returns by End of 2022

This announcement comes shortly after the IRS said it was hiring 10,000 new employees to address the backlog of unprocessed tax returns. 5,000 of these new employees will be hired this year, and the other half next year.

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Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig promised to House lawmakers on Thursday to have all of the unprocessed tax returns by December 2022, USA Today reports. According to the agency, it had a backlog of as many as 20 million tax returns, some lingering for more than a year.

This announcement comes shortly after the IRS said it was hiring 10,000 new employees to address the backlog of unprocessed tax returns. 5,000 of these new employees will be hired this year, and the other half next year. As many as 6,000 of the agency’s staff will be required to work overtime, and more will be authorized to.

For new tax returns, the IRS is creating a 700-person team. The IRS will shift employees to handle the unprecedented amount of returns at centers in Kansas City, Missouri; Austin, Texas; and Ogden, Utah. Among other strategies, the IRS has implemented phone call-back technology that it says has saved taxpayers from more than 1 million hours of waiting on hold.

Rep. Judy Chu, D- Calif. called Rettig’s announcement “very, very encouraging.”

“Each return represents an individual, a family, a business desperately awaiting needed refunds from last year,” she said, according to USA Today.

Budget cuts are said to have resulted in the backlog. Republicans are reportedly looking to make even more cuts to the IRS.

“If the IRS budget was cut by 50%, you might be better off and save more money by just shutting it down completely,” Retti’s added. “We account for 96% of the gross revenue of the United States of America. How are you going to fund what we need to fund and what every American deserves? … Cutting our budget is not the right answer.”

Read more via USA Today.

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