For those who weren’t acquainted with the Nationwide Taxpayer Advocate (NTA), it supposedly represents “our voice” on the Inner Income Service, and a part of its mission is to assist taxpayers sail easily as potential by way of the tax return course of. If considered one of us will get tossed overboard, we will file a case request with the NTA—which then throws out the metaphorical lifesaver.
However sadly, it now seems the COVID-19 pandemic was a tidal wave that utterly wrecked the boat, and the NTA is drowning proper alongside us per a recent blog post from the group. “I’ve made the tough choice to droop accepting circumstances the place the only concern includes the processing of amended returns till the IRS is ready to work by way of its backlog,” it wrote Wednesday, “Because of the broad impression of COVID-19, the IRS has confronted vital challenges in all its return processing operations. Sadly, till the IRS processes a tax return, [we] can’t help the taxpayer.”
The IRS’s in depth backlog isn’t new—we’ve heard the company has been woefully swamped for months, with thousands and thousands of returns in purgatory and taxpayer assist traces flooded with unanswered inquiries. However now it appears as if the NTA and its guardian Taxpayer Advocate Service—whose job is to maintain the IRS heading in the right direction—are literally waving the white flag.
“Beneath our present procedures, [we do] not settle for circumstances through which we can’t meaningfully expedite or enhance case decision for taxpayers,” it stated, and “amended returns fall into this class.”
For those who’re amongst these poor souls who needed to file an amended return and have been ready for a refund, you’re by yourself. The present processing time posted on the IRS net web page is “greater than 20 weeks”—however in keeping with the NTA, current circumstances point out it’s “significantly longer than 20 weeks.” The NTA suggests checking the web “Where’s My Amended Return” device, which exhibits in case your return was obtained as much as three weeks after submitting. In any other case, sit tight.
As of October 30, the IRS was fielding 2.7 million unprocessed amended returns. The company, hobbled by ageing pc programs and understaffing, reached a peak backlog of 35 million unprocessed 2020 returns this previous summer season, an almost 500% improve from pre-pandemic occasions. Based on social media customers, it stopped taking cellphone calls months in the past.