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Staffing Shortages Hampering IRS Processing Current And Backlog Returns–Treasury IG

The Internal Revenue Service continues to struggle with issues related to staff shortages, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said.

In a May 2, 2022, interim report on the 2022 filing season, the IG stated that “significant staffing shortages continue to hamper the IRS’s efforts to address backlog inventories and continue to affect the IRS’s ability to ensure that current year tax returns are processed timely.”

The data in the report comes from March and predates a number of appearances of IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig before Congress where he has pledged that barring another significant spike in the pandemic or some other unforeseen issue, the backlogged inventories will be back to “healthy” by the end of the year.

The report highlights the agency’s overall “IRS Get Healthy Initiatives” and states the IG will be performing separate reviews on how the agency is addressing the backlog as well as hiring shortfalls.

The IG reported that as of March 15, 2022, the IRS onboarded 521 submission processing employees, or 9.5 percent of the hiring goal of 5,437, although Rettig has testified before Congress that in-person and virtual job fairs have yielded higher numbers since then and those hired should be onboarded and complete their training in June. The IG also reported that as of March 17, 2022, the agency onboarded 3,827 accounts management employees, or 76.5 percent of the hiring goal of 5,000 for the 2022 tax season.

Five staffing concerns were highlighted by the report, including:

IG estimates that as of the week ending March 12, 2022, there are nearly 5 million paper tax returns that still need to be processed. Through March 4, for the 2022 filing season, the IRS received nearly 55 million returns, including 1.5 million paper returns, which is 15 percent lower than the paper returns received in roughly the same window (March 5, 2021) during the previous year’s tax filing season.

As of March 4, the IRS has issued about 38 million refunds totaling $129.2 billion. Both represent increases from the same time in the previous tax filing season through March 5 that had about 36 million refunds issued totaling $107.8 billion.

Rettig Defends Budget Request Before Senate Appropriations Committee

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig appeared May 3 before the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee to defend the White House budget request for fiscal year 2023.

During the hearing, Commissioner Rettig testified on a number of the usual topics, noting the backlog of unprocessed returns and other written correspondence should be at a “healthy” level by the end of the year, assuming no other spikes in the pandemic or other unanticipated issues, as well as improvements to the workforce due to direct hiring authority granted by Congress, and the need for more funding to update and improve the IT infrastructure. He also touched on the need for more enforcement personnel to help close the tax gap, reiterating that enforcement will be targeted toward the wealthy who are avoiding paying taxes and not the low and middle income taxpayers.

IRS Highlights Home Energy Credits for Taxpayers, IR-2024-137

The IRS has advised taxpayers that making specific energy-efficient updates to their homes could qualify them for home energy credits. This guidance comes under the expanded provisions of […]

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IRS Highlights Home Energy Credits for Taxpayers, IR-2024-137

IRS Issues FAQs on Disaster Relief Related to Retirement Plans, FS-2024-19; IR-2024-132

The IRS issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to distributions from retirement plans and IRS for individuals impacted by federally declared disasters. These FAQs cover the ongoing disaster relief for certain distributions […]

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IRS Issues FAQs on Disaster Relief Related to Retirement Plans, FS-2024-19; IR-2024-132

2025 Inflation Adjustments for Health Savings Accounts Released, Rev. Proc. 2024-25

The IRS has released the 2025 inflation-adjusted amounts for health savings accounts under Code Sec. 223. For calendar year 2025, the annual limitation on deductions under Code Sec. 223(b)(2) for an […]

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2025 Inflation Adjustments for Health Savings Accounts Released, Rev. Proc. 2024-25

FL - Eligibility for tax credit scholarship program expanded

The eligibility for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program is expanded for sales and use tax purposes. The scholarship program […]

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FL - Eligibility for tax credit scholarship program expanded

FL - IRC conformity tie-in date updated, disaster extension established

Florida updated the IRC conformity tie-in date for computing corporate income tax liability from January 1, 2023 to January 1, […]

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FL - IRC conformity tie-in date updated, disaster extension established

FL - Gas and Sulfur production tax rates for 2024-2025 announced

Florida has issued the severance tax rates for the production of gas and sulfur effective July 1, 2024, through June […]

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FL - Gas and Sulfur production tax rates for 2024-2025 announced

No Further Funding Cuts For IRS In FY24

Other than a planned repurposing of Inflation Reduction Act supplemental funding, the Internal Revenue Service saw no other cuts as the President signed off on the resolution […]

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No Further Funding Cuts For IRS In FY24

IRS Criminal Investigation Releases COVID Fraud Conviction Statistics, IR-2024-83

The IRS released statistics that showed 1,644 tax and money-laundering cases related to COVID fraud, totaling $9 billion investigated by the Criminal Investigation (CI). CI is the law enforcement […]

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IRS Criminal Investigation Releases COVID Fraud Conviction Statistics, IR-2024-83

IRS Updates FAQ on Commercial Clean Vehicle Credits (FS-2024-14; IR-2024-111)

The IRS updated frequently asked questions (FAQ) on New, Previously Owned and Qualified Commercial Clean Vehicle Credits. These FAQs provide guidance on how the Inflation Reduction […]

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IRS Updates FAQ on Commercial Clean Vehicle Credits (FS-2024-14; IR-2024-111)

2024 Foreign Housing Expense Amounts Released, Notice 2024-31

KPMG TaxNewsFlash – United States March 20, 2024 The IRS today released Notice 2024-31 [PDF 156 KB] providing the adjustments to the limitation on housing expenses, under […]

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2024 Foreign Housing Expense Amounts Released, Notice 2024-31