Bipartisan lawmakers push for IRS answers to issues facing taxpayers

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Signage outside the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) headquarters in Washington, DC

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A group of bipartisan lawmakers is pressing the IRS for answers on lingering issues amid a backlog of millions of unprocessed returns.

The senses. Bob Menendez, DN.J., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., members of the Senate Finance Committee overseeing the IRS, along with Reps. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif.; Abigail Spanberger, D-Va. ; Brian Higgins, DN.Y. ; Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla.; and Mike Kelly, R-Pa., reiterated lingering concerns and asked for relief in letters to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

“We remain concerned that the IRS does not have a comprehensive plan to address the many issues affecting taxpayers, despite the fact that this filing season is already well underway,” the lawmakers wrote.

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“For example, there is continued confusion about which notices can be suspended unilaterally by the IRS, beyond notices the IRS has already suspended, among other issues,” they said.

Lawmakers want to know which notices must be issued within a certain timeframe by law and why others have still not been suspended. In February, the agency temporarily halted more than a dozen types of automated letters, including some for unpaid taxes.

They also asked for clarification on the process of sentence reductionincluding for taxpayers who have already received relief in 2020 and 2021, requesting a response from the IRS before the close of business on March 14.

The IRS did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

The letters come as the IRS plans to hire 10,000 workers, with 5,000 new hires in the coming months, to tackle a backlog of more than 20 million unprocessed returns. While the influx isn’t likely to help before the April 18 filing deadline, it can provide a boost throughout the year.

Congress approved $12.6 billion for the agency’s 2022 budget, a 6% increase from 2021, under the service-focused $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package to taxpayers. Last year, President Joe Biden asked for $80 billion over the next decade to fight tax evasion by wealthy Americans.

The letters have the support of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, Padgett Business Services, National Association of Enrolled Agents and National Association of Tax Professionals, among others.

“Since the start of tax season, the AICPA, members of Congress, and various organizations representing taxpayers and practitioners have urged the IRS to take important and meaningful steps to mitigate the challenges anticipated this tax season.” , said AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon. A declaration.

“Tax season is well underway and we hope the IRS will heed widespread calls for meaningful relief and take the necessary steps to ease the burden and frustration on taxpayers,” he said.

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