Chairman Connolly to Hold Hearing on IRS Operations Amid Expectedly Challenging Tax Season
On Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. ET, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, will hold a virtual hearing to examine the operations and financial condition of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), specifically how the agency will fare this tax season.
Every year, the IRS processes more than 150 million individual and business tax returns. But as it heads into the 2022 tax season, the agency is still struggling to address a massive backlog of more than 23 million pieces of correspondence related to the 2020 tax season, including tax returns waiting to be processed, suspended returns, and returns that were amended. In its 2021 Annual Report to Congress, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), an independent entity that ensures taxpayers are treated fairly by the IRS, called 2021 “the most challenging year taxpayers and tax professionals have ever experienced.”
The IRS has a long history of resource and staff shortages. The agency’s budget was cut by about $929 million between Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 and FY 2019, and the IRS workforce has been reduced by 22% since 2010, leaving one-third the number of enforcement agents and less than half the number of customer service representatives. The coronavirus pandemic further strained the IRS, which was tasked with issuing more than $1.5 trillion in economic relief to qualifying individuals, families, and businesses in addition to processing annual tax returns.
Many Americans rely on their tax refunds to pay for food, childcare, medication, utilities, and other necessities. The hearing will examine ways Congress can ensure the IRS has the resources and staffing flexibilities it needs to effectively fulfill its duties with the 2022 tax season already underway.