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IRS has 1 million unprocessed returns and three million items of unopened mail after COVID-19 wreaked havoc on tax season


The Inside Income Service nonetheless has about a million 2020 tax returns to course of after the coronavirus pandemic and distribution of hundreds of thousands of stimulus checks upended operations, the company’s commissioner advised federal lawmakers on Friday.

“We’ve performed all that we will actually do,” mentioned IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, speaking to members of the Home Methods and Means Oversight Subcommittee. He mentioned the committee nonetheless hears from constituents who haven’t obtained their 2020 refunds.

The approximate a million still-unprocessed returns are down from 2.5 million unopened returns in October, the final time Rettig testified about IRS operations in a tax season like none different. There’s now 3 million items of unopened mail, down from 5.3 million.

There are at present 6.8 million returns in course of – which, Rettig defined, are returns which have gone by means of the IRS techniques.

“On behalf of the Inside Income Service and each worker, for actually each American, we recognize the endurance and understanding,” Rettig mentioned. “This isn’t an excuse, however I’ll say that our staff went by means of the identical actual factor as each different American throughout COVID with respect to well being and security considerations.”

The company had 59,000 staffers teleworking this week, a document for the IRS, he famous. The IRS is providing weekend shifts and extra time to get the work performed, he added.

Rettig addressed a subcommittee chaired by Invoice Pascrell, Jr., a Democrat from New Jersey. In his opening remarks, Pascrell mentioned he had a constituent who heard from the IRS to not count on a response on a 2019 tax return till January 2021.

“January?” he requested incredulously, additionally noting there are nonetheless people who find themselves ready for his or her stimulus checks.

Saturday, Nov. 21, marks final day for individuals who haven’t filed earnings taxes; they’ll register within the IRS non-filer portal to get their $1,200 stimulus examine forward of subsequent tax season.

IRS officers have reached out immediately with greater than 4,000 shelters to connect people who are homeless with their stimulus check, Rettig mentioned.

The listening to comes two months forward of Joe Biden’s begin as president and Pascrell famous the IRS Commissioner is a presidential appointee who can keep or go relying on the president’s dedication.

Rettig, a Trump administration appointee, mentioned he doesn’t plan to supply a resignation forward of any request from the Biden administration to step down. Rettig’s time period, on paper, runs by means of 2022.

Some observers doubt Biden would replace Rettig.

Pascrell asked Rettig to “pro-offer” his resignation “to the incoming president to facilitate the transition to the new administration.”

The lawmaker was critical of Rettig for not providing President Donald Trump’s tax returns. The committee has sued for the tax returns in a case that’s gone up to the Supreme Court and been remanded to the lower courts.

Pascrell pressed Rettig if he would give Trump’s tax returns to the committee if he as requested to take action as soon as the Biden administration takes over.

Rettig mentioned he couldn’t talk about Trump’s tax returns due to pending litigation. “I can’t reply the query, sir,” he mentioned.