WASHINGTON – With millions of Americans struggling to get answers from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) today continued his push to reduce delays and ensure that Virginians are able to get through the 2022 filing season as smoothly as possible.
In a joint letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, Sen. Warner and a number of his Senate colleagues today urged the IRS to take immediate action to reduce its massive backlog and improve its customer service during the 2022 tax filing season. Specifically, the lawmakers called on the IRS to consider pursuing maximum overtime options for its staff, expanding its surge teams to address processing and correspondence delays, and seeking fast ways to train additional employees and volunteers.
“As the IRS works to eliminate the current backlog of returns and correspondence, we request you to pursue additional actions to maximize the IRS’ current workforce to address the backlog in order to reduce disruptions this filing season,” wrote the lawmakers to IRS Commissioner Rettig.
“We continue to hear from constituents who are still waiting for their 2020 tax returns, have received confusing notices about overdue payments they already paid, and cannot reach anyone at the IRS for assistance. Many of these problems stem from the millions of unprocessed correspondence items from 2021,” the lawmakers added. “We understand the long-term solution to ensure the IRS can manage its workload and provide timely and high-quality service to taxpayers is additional resources to hire and train employees across several departments and modernize technologies. However, those investments will take time, and taxpayers require more immediate relief, especially with the 2022 filing season already underway.”
Additionally, in a Senate Finance Committee hearing today, Sen. Warner questioned IRS National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins about the IRS backlogs and about the measures being taken to address the situation.
Specifically, Sen. Warner touched on the possibility of extending the tax filing deadline, asking whether an extension would be beneficial in light of the ongoing backlogs. He also asked whether the IRS is setting appropriate expectations and whether the IRS can and should do more right now to better communicate issues to taxpayers.