National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins today released her statutorily mandated Fiscal Year 2023 Objectives Report to Congress. The report presents an assessment of the 2022 filing season and identifies key objectives the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) will pursue during the upcoming fiscal year.
The report expresses concern about continuing delays in the processing of paper-filed tax returns and the consequent impact on taxpayer refunds. As detailed in the report, the IRS’s backlog of paper-filed returns stood at 21.3 million at the end of May 2022 – seven percent larger than at the end of May 2021. Other key taxpayer challenges this year have included correspondence delays and difficulty reaching the IRS by phone.
“The IRS has said it is aiming to crush the backlogged inventory this year, and I hope it succeeds,” Collins said. “Unfortunately, at this point the backlog is still crushing the IRS, its employees, and most importantly, taxpayers. As such, the agency is continuing to explore additional processing strategies.”
The report points out that the significant majority of individual taxpayers receive refunds. “At the end of the day, a typical taxpayer cares most about receiving his or her refund timely,” Collins wrote. “Particularly for lower income taxpayers who receive Earned Income Tax Credit benefits, their refunds may constitute a significant percentage of their household income for the year. Thus, these processing delays are creating unprecedented financial difficulties for millions of taxpayers and outright hardships for many.”
Among business taxpayers, many have been waiting extended periods to receive Employee Tax Retention Credits for which they are eligible in addition to regular refunds.
TAS has also posted the IRS’s responses to each of the 88 administrative recommendations the National Taxpayer Advocate made in her 2021 Annual Report to Congress.
Please visit https://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/reports/2023-objectives-report-to-congress/ for more information.
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About the Taxpayer Advocate Service
TAS is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayer rights. Your local taxpayer advocate’s number is in your local directory and at taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/contact-us/. You can also call TAS toll-free at 877-777-4778. TAS can help if you need assistance in resolving an IRS problem, if your problem is causing financial difficulty, or if you believe an IRS system or procedure isn’t working as it should. Our service is free. For more information about TAS and your rights under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, go to taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/get-help/taxpayer-rights. You can get updates on tax topics at facebook.com/YourVoiceAtIRS, Twitter.com/YourVoiceatIRS, and YouTube.com/TASNTA.
In addition, TAS continues to expand its Online Digital Roadmap Tool to assist more taxpayers with navigating the complexity of the tax system. By entering a notice or letter number, taxpayers can determine where they are on the roadmap, why they received the notice or letter, what rights they have, what they must do next, and where they can get additional help.