When 5 ½ Months Seems Fast

Last week I complained about the IRS taking more than 5 ½ months to process an amended return. Well, I may have some clarity now on IRS processing time and it ain’t pretty.

On February 4th clients of mine mailed their 2018 tax return to the IRS. This particular return could not be electronically filed. They mailed it certified mail. It took nearly a full month to get from Las Vegas to Ogden, Utah. On March 1st it was received.

And then nothing…until today.

The IRS shows the return was processed today, November 23rd. That’s more than 8 ½ months from the date it was received (and more than 9 months after it was sent). Yes, we’re dealing with Covid but this is really unacceptable. These clients have been waiting to set up a payment plan (installment agreement) but couldn’t because the return was “in limbo.”

Per IRS Commissioner Rettig, there are 1 million unprocessed tax returns, 6.8 million returns “in process,” and 3 million pieces of unopened mail. Or a child could be conceived and born faster than whatever it is you’re sending to the IRS is responded to.

So, what’s the solution? I honestly don’t see much improvement until next summer (when I think we’ll be able to put Covid in the rear-view mirror). Until that happens, it’s just going to be a slog.

Long-term, the IRS really needs to have its funding increased. The main IRS computer is older than I am (to give a hint of my age, I watched “The Play” in-person as a college student 38 years ago). The IRS is (as far as I know) the only place where money spent at the federal level brings back more money (Commissioner Rettig said that for every dollar spent, the IRS brings in $7). Let’s spend some money and move the IRS into the 21st Century!

Comments are closed.