How COVID Has Pulverized IRS Operations

Delays, postponements, system failures, shutdowns, and mounting backlogs.

By CPA Trendlines

Taxpayers who filed a 2019 paper return and are entitled to refunds may be in for a long wait, according to the first report to Congress from the new IRS watchdog.

MORE on the 2020 SEASON: The Mystery of 10 Million Missing Tax Returns | Tax Pro E-Filings Down 20 Percent | IRS Web Traffic Doubles over Year-Ago | COVID Drowns IRS in New Filings | 2020 Tax Season Comes to a Screeching Halt | The Tax Season 2020 Dumpster Fire | Tax Pros Fall Behind 6.2% in Returns Filed
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The IRS was forced to suspend the processing of paper tax returns, and as of May 16, it estimated it had a backlog of 4.7 million paper returns, says National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins, who succeeded long-time predecessor Nina Olsen just as the pandemic was ramping up.

Although the IRS is reopening some of its core operations, it is not clear when it can open and process all the returns sitting in mail facilities, the Taxpayer Advocate Service reports.