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Spanberger presses IRS commissioner for answers about delayed returns

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Seventh District Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger today called on the Internal Revenue Service to expedite efforts to reduce its tax return backlog.

IRS figures released in April showed a backlog of more than 2.5 million unprocessed tax returns from 2021, as well as more than 8.9 million from 2022.

In a letter sent to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, Spanberger outlined her concerns about how the ongoing backlog is impacting the IRS and its Taxpayer Advocate Service, which assists U.S. taxpayers with delays that are difficult to resolve through routine IRS channels.

Recently, the IRS informed Congress that the TAS will not accept cases for unprocessed mail returns until Oct. 15. Spanberger made clear that this major delay will hamper the ability of Virginia families, seniors, and small businesses to receive timely resolutions for their specific IRS cases — especially for Virginians who filed a paper tax return.

“Given TAS’ crucial role in assisting taxpayers, I am deeply concerned the backlog is so severe that TAS recently notified congressional offices they will limit their acceptance of cases regarding unprocessed 2021 returns filed on paper until at least Oct. 15,” said Spanberger. “This decision, due to the paper-based backlog at the IRS, significantly impacts congressional offices’ ability to serve their constituents, and disproportionately harms seniors, rural residents, small business owners, freelance workers, and lower-income filers, who are more likely to file on paper through the mail or file amended returns.”

Spanberger continued, “I request an update on the current state of the backlog, including the number of paper-filed returns that have yet to be opened, the number of paper-filed returns that have yet to be processed, the percentage of those paper returns that are original versus amended, the number of unprocessed individual returns, and the number of unprocessed small business returns. I also respectfully request an update on the IRS’ efforts to hire an additional 10,000 employees by the end of the year to address the backlog including how many individuals have been hired, how many have been trained and placed in their role, and an updated projected timeline for hiring.”

Click here to read the letter.



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