IRS destroyed 30 million taxpayer documents, as they faced a massive backlog

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An audit of the Internal Revenue Service found staffers destroyed 30 million taxpayer documents, as they faced a massive backlog. However, the tax collection agency says no taxpayers were adversely affected by the destruction.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration made three recommendations for the IRS to improve its processing of paper tax forms and promote more e-filing. However, the IRS disagreed with two of the recommendations.

“This audit was initiated because the IRS’s continued inability to process backlogs of paper-filed tax returns contributed to management’s decision to destroy an estimated 30 million paper-filed information return documents in March 2021,” says the TIGTA report signed by Michael E. McKenney, the deputy inspector general for audit. “The IRS uses these documents to conduct post-processing compliance matches to identify taxpayers who do not accurately report their income.”

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The destroyed tax documents included W-2 forms and 1099 forms, according to the inspector general.

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