​3 Tips for Navigating the IRS’s Backlog

​3 Tips for Navigating the IRS’s Backlog

03/10/2022 Tags: Announcements, In the News

Have you ever found yourself wishing life could go back to how it was before the pandemic? The IRS probably feels your pain.

At the start of a “normal” tax season, the IRS usually has a backlog of about a million returns. But this year, the agency started with about 6 million unprocessed returns and 2 million unprocessed amended returns.

Here are some other quick stats:

  • There were about 15,000 IRS agents responsible for handling the 240 million calls that came in during the first half of 2021. That’s one agent for every 16,000 calls.
  • Only about 7% of taxpayers were able to talk to an agent during the 2021 tax season.
  • The IRS’s website saw 630 million visits last year.

When you consider factors like pandemic-related relief measures and the Child Tax Credit, odds are things aren’t going to get any better anytime soon.

For taxpayers, the delays and unexpected notices are frustrating and frightening. That’s especially true if you’re waiting for a much-need refund from the government.

Although much of the IRS backlog is beyond anyone’s control, there are a few things you can do to make things easier for yourself.

Be patient. That can be especially tough if you’re counting on a return. But unfortunately, what used to take the IRS days or weeks may now take several months. You may have to consider loans or cutting expenses wherever you can to manage until your refund comes through.

Maintain complete records. Whether it’s receipts, forms, notices from the IRS, or any other documentation about your finances and taxes, make sure to keep it organized and somewhere secure. Also, make sure you’re sharing all of that information with your CPA or tax preparer.

Communicate quickly. It’s really important to share all IRS correspondence with your accountant and the agency itself. If you delay or don’t provide complete information, you might have to wait even longer. As soon as you receive a letter or notice from the IRS, send it to your CPA.

We can’t fix the IRS’s backlog, but if you have questions about your taxes, please let us know.

Image of Kayce Gerlach


Shareholder and CPA, CGMA, CEPA

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