IRS Back Logs Causing Major Delays For Taxpayers

Ferrone & Associates CPAsBlog

The IRS has worked hard over the last few years to move taxpayers to electronic filing, and 90% of individual taxpayers e-filed last year. Unfortunately, that still left some 17 million taxpayers to file paper returns. The IRS had processed 5 million taxpayer responses to proposed tax return adjustments. It took an average of more than eight months for a taxpayer to complete the process—251 days to be exact—three times the average processing time in 2019.

When a math error or similar notice is generated in connection with a paper-filed tax notice/ return, the combination of the return processing delay and the correspondence processing delay may mean that the taxpayer must wait well over a year to get the issue resolved.

The IRS report also notes that taxpayers who are trying to resolve identity theft issues also have to suffer through long delays, waiting nearly a year on average to complete the process of sending affidavits and other documentation to substantiate their identities.

Telephone Overload: The Internal Revenue Service fielded about 73 million telephone calls during the 2022 filing season. While that number is overwhelming, consider that only one call out of 10 actually reached a human IRS employee. When compared with numbers from the 2021 filing season, the percentage of IRS-fielded calls in 2022 is very close to that in 2021.

If a private company failed to answer nine out of 10 customer calls, customers would
go elsewhere.