NTA Weblog: IRS Delays in Processing Amended Tax Returns Are Impacting TAS’s Potential to Help Taxpayers

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In a earlier weblog, I highlighted the influence of the IRS’s processing delays and the ensuing enhance in circumstances on TAS’s potential to serve taxpayers. As we speak, I need to present info on limitations TAS is going through in aiding particular person and enterprise taxpayers who’ve filed amended tax returns and are ready for the IRS to course of them. We all know many people and companies are annoyed by the delays, significantly these awaiting refunds.

As of October 30, 2021, the IRS had a backlog of over 2.7 million unprocessed amended returns. The IRS is processing these returns within the order acquired, and the present processing time posted on its operational web page is greater than 20 weeks. Our circumstances point out that the processing time is significantly longer than 20 weeks, and as such, I’ve made the troublesome determination to droop accepting circumstances the place the only difficulty entails the processing of amended returns till the IRS is ready to work via its backlog. We’re additionally analyzing the upcoming submitting season and count on to difficulty revised steerage for authentic filed returns.

Underneath our present procedures, TAS doesn’t settle for circumstances wherein we can’t meaningfully expedite or enhance case decision for taxpayers. Amended returns fall into this class. Because of the broad influence of COVID-19, the IRS has confronted important challenges in all its return processing operations. Sadly, till the IRS processes a tax return, TAS can’t help the taxpayer. For that purpose, TAS won’t settle for new circumstances solely involving the processing of a person or enterprise amended return. TAS will proceed to watch IRS developments in amended return processing and can reevaluate this willpower because the scenario modifications.

Nevertheless, TAS will proceed to just accept new circumstances if the first difficulty meets TAS case acceptance standards per IRM 13.1.7, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Standards, and consists of the processing of a person or enterprise amended return as a secondary difficulty.

We acknowledge that many taxpayers whose amended returns the IRS has not processed have been ready for his or her refunds for months. Some are experiencing monetary hardships and desperately want the funds. Most are confused, annoyed, and anxious that the delay might imply they did one thing improper. The IRS studies that its The place’s My Amended Return device signifies {that a} taxpayer’s amended return was acquired inside three weeks of submitting. Taxpayers can use the device to trace the standing of their return. This device is offered on IRS.gov and may present the standing of amended returns for the present tax 12 months and as much as three prior tax years. One caveat – the device can’t present the standing of amended returns with a overseas tackle, enterprise tax amended returns, carryback purposes, and amended returns processed by a specialised unit. If you’re in search of up to date info on IRS operations and backlogs, the IRS has created a dashboard that it’s commonly updating.

Though TAS can’t help in particular person circumstances, now we have been advocating throughout the IRS for systemic steps to scale back the processing backlog. On November 9, 2021, I issued a Taxpayer Advocate Directive (TAD) directing the IRS to finish processing all backlogged amended tax returns by December 29, 2021, or present an in depth plan for finishing processing the backlog. My TAD additionally directed the IRS to offer weekly updates to TAS on the progress in processing these returns and to submit weekly updates on IRS.gov. Though the legislation authorizes the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner to switch or rescind this order, the IRS should present a written clarification, after which I might report on the problem in my Annual Report back to Congress. TAS is continuous to work collaboratively with the IRS to expedite the processing of those returns.

Conclusion

I admire your endurance and understanding as we work via these unprecedented circumstances. This isn’t a scenario wherein the IRS is unwilling to work with taxpayers or TAS. Reasonably, it has been attributable to decreased staffing and the pandemic, which have created extraordinary challenges the IRS should overcome. We’re conscious of the issues taxpayers are experiencing, and we’re persevering with to advocate throughout the IRS to resolve them as rapidly as doable.

 

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