IRS Stuck in 2021’s Tax Returns and 1997’s Technology

2021 was a difficult year for many of us, the IRS included. For an organization that was already facing budget cuts, more incoming work, and outdated technology, the events of last year may have proven to be too much. Many Americans still have not received their refunds from 2021, and are concerned they may not see their 2022 refunds for a long time. The issue stems from funding, computer systems, and old habits of the IRS that the organization just cannot seem to shake.

To start, the IRS receives approximately 240 million tax returns and other tax documents each year. As of late December, it was estimated that the IRS had a backlog of about 15.3 million paper tax forms to process. Many Americans who still haven’t received any refunds or updates on when they can expect to receive them then give the IRS a call for an update – usually to no avail. The IRS received an estimated 282 million phone calls and were only able to answer 30 million. These delays are largely due to understaffing issues that have piled up over the past decade, combined with issues caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Just as the events of 2021 affected many businesses, the IRS also changed its operating procedures, sending a majority of its staff to work from home. This change, alongside having to process three separate COVID-19 assistance checks put the already hobbled IRS even further behind.

The largest issue plaguing the organization, however, has remained the same for over two decades – its computer systems. What was once a sophisticated and efficient system at the time has remained a monolith of the organization, and as more and more tax documents flow through the IRS every year, its outdated computer systems struggle to keep up. Many internal processes still require paper copies of documents to be passed around, and their information to be manually entered into several different electronic systems, even if filed electronically. This massive bottleneck can’t just be removed and would take several years and billions of dollars to overhaul. For the time being, it seems the IRS is stuck with its old practices unless new legislation comes down the pipeline to revamp the organization as a whole.

While we don’t have the ability to fix the IRS’s long-standing issues, we do have the ability to provide legal counsel that makes a difference to you. If you’re facing investigations, tax discrepancies, claims of fraud, or any other issues with the IRS, give us a call at (305) 374-5544 to schedule your consultation.

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Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

As experienced trial lawyers with a passion for justice, our firm provides clients with compelling advocacy, attorney availability, and creative solutions to your tax or criminal law matters.
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