By Dec. 23, the IRS had further reduced its unprocessed backlog of individual returns to about 400,000.
“Taxpayers and tax professionals experienced more misery in 2022," the report said. “The good news is that since the close of the 2022 filing season, the IRS has made considerable progress in reducing the volume of unprocessed returns and correspondence.”
One reason for the optimism is the infusion of billions from the Democratic-powered legislation signed into law this summer. It is meant to help rebuild an agency that hadn’t seen additional funding in decades. House Republicans, however, want to rescind the money, saying it would bankroll an army of 87,000 auditors who will harass middle-class taxpayers rather than help them — claims that are generally alarmist and misleading.
Another boon to the agency is that IRS officials used direct hiring authority to most recently add 5,000 customer service representatives who were trained in taxpayer rights and technical account management issues.
“We have been unable to provide the help that IRS employees want to give and that the nation’s taxpayers deserve,” then-Commissioner Chuck Rettig said at the time of the October hiring announcement, “but help is on the way for taxpayers.”
Shortly after the new money was secured, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen directed the IRS to develop a plan within six months outlining how the tax agency would overhaul its technology, customer service and hiring processes.
That report is due in the coming weeks.
Looking forward to the 2023 filing season, Collins' report said the IRS will be starting "in much better shape than the last two years.”
Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said in a statement that the additional resources “will enable the IRS to provide better service this filing season so taxpayers can get issues resolved and phone calls answered" so they have the information “they need to file an accurate return.”