The IRS is facing more than 35 million unprocessed tax returns, delaying refunds for many low-income Americans as the agency struggles to adopt a slew of changes related to coronavirus relief efforts, a government watchdog said Wednesday.
National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins said in a recent report the agency still needs to process about 17 million paper returns, in addition to the 16 million additional returns that have been suspended because they need to be processed manually. Another 2.4 million amended returns are also awaiting processing.
The unprocessed returns at the end of the 2021 tax season mark a 230% increase from last year, when the agency had a backlog of roughly 10.7 million returns. It represents a 377% increase from the end of the 2019 tax season.
IRS officials are also calculating the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit – two tax credits for lower-income Americans that were expanded in President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. Read more from Fox Business.