IRS in chaos: Nearly 35 million tax returns are STILL unprocessed and just 3% of phone calls are being answered as Americans try for months to get through to a human on the other end

  • The National Taxpayer Advocate submits two annual reports to Congress
  • The most recent report found a ‘perfect storm’ at the IRS
  • The pandemic combined with increased demands on it, and a reduced budget
  • As of May, 35 million returns had still not been processed, the NTA reported
  • Millions of people are still waiting for a tax refund, averaging $2,800
  • Phone calls were rarely answered by a human being, adding to the frustration
  • Biden is planning to increase the budget of the IRS to deal with the challenges 

The Internal Revenue Service is facing a backlog of 35 million unprocessed tax returns, according to a government watchdog, as the pandemic and economic relief efforts combined to overwhelm the agency and force some people to spend hours chasing their overdue refunds.

The National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) submits two reports to Congress each year: an Annual Report, delivered in January, and an Objectives Report, delivered in June.

In its most recent report, the NTA states: ‘It was perhaps the most challenging filing season taxpayers, tax professionals, and the IRS have ever experienced.’

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One of their most important phone lines – the 1040 customer support lines for individual tax returns – reported that only three per cent of the 85 million callers got through to a human being.


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