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National Taxpayer Advocate’s Introductory Remarks

In her Fiscal Year 2024 Objectives Report to Congress, National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins states, “What a difference a year makes! … I’m finally able to deliver some good news: The taxpayer experience vastly improved during the 2023 filing season.” The IRS caught up in processing paper-filed original Forms 1040 for individuals and various business returns; refunds were generally issued quickly; and taxpayers calling the IRS were much more likely to get through – and with substantially shorter wait times. The IRS reduced its backlog of unprocessed paper returns by 80 percent.

Despite these improvements, the IRS reduced its backlog of unprocessed amended paper returns, taxpayer correspondence, and Accounts Management cases by only six percent. The IRS is still behind in processing amended tax returns and taxpayer correspondence. Although the IRS was much more effective in answering taxpayer calls this year, that could only be accomplished by prioritizing the phones over other IRS operations, which resulted in greater delays in the processing of paper correspondence.

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“With adequate funding, leadership prioritization, and appropriate oversight from Congress, I believe the IRS will make considerable progress in the next three to five years in helping taxpayers comply with their tax obligations as painlessly as possible.”

Erin M. Collins, National Taxpayer Advocate