Finance

IRS to hire 10,000 in attempt to cut tax returns backlog

Internal Revenue Service headquarters is seen from Pennsylvania Ave., in Washington, D.C., on Friday, October 15, 2021.
Greg Nash

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) intends on hiring 10,000 employees in an effort to address a backlog of nearly 24 million tax returns, the majority of which are from the 2020 tax season, The Washington Post reported, citing four people familiar with the plan.

The sources told the newspaper that the move came after the agency was given approval for direct hiring authority, which removes some requirements within the hiring process, in an effort to speed up recruiting.

One person familiar with the plan told the Post said that 80 types of positions, ranging from tax attorneys to entry-level clerical workers, will have their recruiting sped up. The people familiar told the newspaper that the agency is looking for technology professionals who can help update the infrastructure at the IRS, among other roles that the agency seeks to recruit for.

The Post’s reporting follows another report that the newspaper published last month, which found that the IRS had a backlog of close to 24 million tax returns. 

In a letter to members of Congress in February, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig explained that the agency had been battling a number of challenges, including a lack of funding to train and maintain staff and a lack of investment to improve their technology.

“The IRS pursued significant actions during the 2021 filing season to address the return and correspondence inventory. But, because the IRS lacked the resources it needed to reduce inventory to a healthy level, we are entering the filing season with a significant inventory of unprocessed returns and correspondence,” Rettig wrote to lawmakers.

Still, the backlog is not expected to be resolved until the end of this year, a government official told the Post. The development comes over a month before the tax-filing deadline for the 2021 tax season. 

The Hill has reached out to the IRS for comment.

Tags IRS Tax returns
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