IRS Understaffed, Expect Complicated Tax Returns

The Internal Revenue Service has warned that tax season will start early this year and will be particularly “frustrating,” as pandemic-era tax changes and staffing constraints squeeze the nation’s tax agency. A slew of issues could make filing 2021 taxes more difficult this year, besides the expected disruptions at the understaffed Internal Revenue Service, which is still handling last year’s returns.

Tax Return Filing to Start January 24 

On Monday, Jan. 24, the IRS announced that it would begin accepting and processing tax returns for the 2021 tax year. This date is more than two weeks earlier than the start of last year’s tax season, giving the IRS extra time to ensure everything goes well amid the ongoing pandemic and programming improvements, such as the Child Tax Credit, implemented last year.

The Internal Revenue Service Progress Update / Fiscal Year 2021 – Putting Taxpayers First PDF describes how the IRS overcame challenges connected to the pandemic while providing two rounds of Economic Impact Payments and millions of advanced Child Tax Credit payments on time. Despite office closures, social distance rules, and a delayed tax filing deadline, IRS personnel continued to make modifications to fulfill the filing season, IRS posted on their website. 

Negligence, COVID-19, Increased Obligations Affect Process 

The Internal Revenue Service has been thrown into disorder due to years of budgetary and administrative negligence by Congress, as well as the disastrous effects of COVID-19 and increased obligations. The problems manifest themselves in difficulties processing refunds swiftly, scrutinizing returns to find cheaters, and a shortage of services to assist Americans with their filings. According to Fortune, the upshot is a loss of revenue for the federal government, which relies on the money it collects and will need more than $4 trillion in the fiscal year 2021 to pay everything from the US military to national parks.

According to the IRS, people can still file 2021 returns even if their prior tax returns are still being processed.


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