RELEASE: Gottheimer Urges IRS & Treasury to Address Massive Tax Return Backlog

Jan 27, 2022

6.3 Million Unprocessed Individual Returns and 2.3 Million Unprocessed Amended Returns. Fighting to Bring Immediate Relief to Taxpayers.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) is urging the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department to take critical steps to eliminate the massive backlog of unprocessed tax returns, to assist Taxpayer Advocacy Services in hiring and training new taxpayer advocates, and to bring immediate relief to taxpayers. 

The IRS is continuing to experience significant delays. As of last month, the IRS had 6.3 million unprocessed individual returns and 2.3 million unprocessed amended returns. 

Gottheimer and other Members of Congress are urging the IRS and Treasury Department to: 

  1. Create a plan to efficiently and effectively process the backlog in mailed tax returns;
  2. Assist the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) in the hiring and training of new taxpayer advocates;
  3. Halt automated collections from now until at least 90 days after April 18, 2022;
  4. Delay the collection process for filers until any active and pending penalty abatement requests have been processed;
  5. Streamline the reasonable cause penalty abatement process for taxpayers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic without the need for written correspondence;
  6. Provide targeted tax penalty relief for taxpayers who paid at least 70 percent of the tax due for the 2020 and 2021 tax year; 
  7. Expedite processing of amended returns; and,
  8. Report to Congress on plans to address the backlog.

Delayed IRS refunds and returns are affecting millions of Americans and small businesses. With the upcoming tax filing season, the IRS needs to address this backlog now and ensure it is prepared for this year’s tax season.

“These delays are causing taxpayers severe financial hardships and loss. Along with the typical financial strain caused by not receiving refunds, there are additional ‘downstream’ consequences from the delays of tax returns. Taxpayers, for example, may not be able to complete the down payment for a mortgage or apply for student loans because they cannot provide the required tax transcript,” Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and other Members of Congress wrote in a letter to IRS Commissioner Rettig this month. “No taxpayer should have to lose out on the opportunity to purchase a home and or enroll in college because they are waiting for their returns to be processed.”

Find the full text of the letters here  and here.


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