National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins released her first report to Congress identifying taxpayer challenges due to the pandemic, the CARES Act(Coronavirus Aid, Relief And Economic Security Act) and the IRS’s implementation of the Taxpayer First Act.
The report praises the IRS for acting quickly to postpone over 300 filing, payment, and other time-sensitive deadlines, provide broad relief from compliance actions under its “People First Initiative,” and disburse some 160 million Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) authorized by the CARES Act, enacted on March 27, 2020.
However, the report says that despite the IRS’s best efforts, there have been notable adverse taxpayer impacts, including:
• Taxpayers who filed a 2019 paper return and are entitled to refunds may be in for a long wait. The IRS had to suspend the processing of paper tax returns, and as of May 16, it estimated it had a backlog of 4.7 million paper returns. Although the IRS is reopening some of its core operations, it is not clear when it can open and process all the returns sitting in mail facilities.