The IRS has issued $10 billion in tax refunds, tax credits, unemployment benefit refunds, and stimulus payments associated with the coronavirus pandemic. While there has been talk of a fourth round of stimulus payments worth $1,200 to $2,000 – another boost is unlikely until 2022.
The IRS is also facing an historic backlog of tax returns, as 35 million sit awaiting to be processed. The last stimulus boost came as part of the American Rescue Plan, which tasked the IRS with issuing $1,400 stimulus checks to most Americans. With so many qualifying for the direct aid payments, it put the short-staffed agency behind the 8-ball.
Earlier this week, FingerLakes1.com broke down the various codes associated with direct deposit payments from the IRS to Americans. Millions of people are still receiving stimulus payments as the IRS plays catch up. However, the brunt of the agency’s work is now dealing with Child Tax Credit payments, which go out monthly.
However, advocates for the IRS say that one thing stands between the agency and smooth, efficient rollout of refunds, tax credit payments, and even stimulus: Workers.
The Biden Administration estimated earlier this year that uncollected taxes could add up to more than $7 trillion over the next decade if the IRS does not have its workforce problem resolved. The White House has proposed long-term ending to invest in technology, as well as workers to take on that task.
But it’s clear now with a backlog in the tens-of-millions that the growing list of responsibilities post-pandemic for the IRS will be too much to handle without additional help.
Advocates say that in addition to hiring more people- the entire job description of much of its team needs to be revamped. That’s why so many would like to see the IRS go back to the drawing board, and reassess what its teams would do. Then, recruit, train, and deploy workers to get the IRS back on track.
This is especially true if the IRS could potentially be tasked with deploying additional stimulus checks.
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