“The IRS has said it is aiming to crush the backlogged inventory this year, and I hope it succeeds. Unfortunately, at this point the backlog is still crushing the IRS, its employees, and most importantly, taxpayers. As such, the agency is continuing to explore additional processing strategies.”
The IRS timely processed the original returns of most taxpayers who filed electronically without any errors. When the returns included direct deposit information, taxpayers received refunds promptly. However, for millions of taxpayers who had inconsistencies or errors in their returns or who filed paper returns, the 2022 filing season was not much better than last year, and these taxpayers will be waiting for refunds for six months or longer. At the end of the 2022 filing season, the IRS and taxpayers still faced long delays in processing paper original returns, electronic returns with inconsistencies, and electronic- and paper-filed amended returns, as well as the backlog of correspondence the IRS still needed to address from 2021 plus the 2022 correspondence. The high level of backlog and the corresponding delays have strained the IRS, its employees, and most importantly, taxpayers.
TAS Case Advocacy and Other Business Objectives describe activities TAS will pursue to advance its advocacy efforts for individual taxpayers through casework. This section also details planned TAS activities for organizational improvement and promotion of its advocacy efforts. Local case advocates work directly with taxpayers on identifying issues, researching solutions, and advocating on taxpayers’ behalf within the IRS. TAS’s goal is to continuously improve its internal processes and business operations on behalf of taxpayers.
TAS’s Case Advocacy and Business Objectives for FY 2023 are:
TAS seeks to use a data-driven approach to improve IRS services for all taxpayers. TAS recommends that the IRS increasingly incorporate technology into its service offerings, most notably by expanding its online and digital services, while increasing the ease of accessibility of these tools to the vast majority of taxpayers. While taxpayers desperately need efficient access to IRS online services, the IRS also needs to ensure the effectiveness and availability of traditional services, such as sending correspondence to taxpayers, timely responding to or processing replies from taxpayers, and promptly answering telephone inquiries on its toll-free lines.
Three research projects are scheduled for FY 2023.
The National Taxpayer Advocate is required by statute to submit a year-end report to Congress that, among other things, describes the ten most serious problems facing taxpayers and makes administrative recommendations to mitigate those problems. The report includes the IRS’s general responses identified in her 2021 year-end report as well as specific responses to each recommendation. In addition, it contains TAS’s analysis of the IRS’s responses and, in some cases, details TAS’s disagreement with the IRS’s position.