The agency’s plans for facial recognition might be abandoned for now, but its lust for data is never satiated.
About two months ago I was on the phone with a revenue officer from the Internal Revenue Service, discussing a client’s situation. We got on the topic of the IRS’s backlog of unprocessed tax returns and the difficulty that the agency is having in working through the pile of mail that has accumulated because of the pandemic.
According to the National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2021 Annual Report to Congress, the IRS had a backlog of nearly 12 million tax returns left over from the 2020 filing season. It took the agency until June 2021 to process those returns. Meanwhile, in March 2021, the agency began to receive another 17 million paper returns — in addition to another 9.8 million returns in its error processing system. The agency’s protocol requires that each return in that system be processed by hand.
According to the NTA, it is now taking the IRS about eight months to process paper tax returns that are properly filed. Who knows how long it’s taking to manually process returns with errors.
During the 2021 calendar year, the IRS mailed millions of letters and notices to taxpayers. Most letters carry a time deadline under which taxpayers must respond. If they do not, the IRS can take adverse action without further notice. For example, if the IRS mails a “Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing,” the taxpayer must respond to the notice within 30 days. If he does, the case goes to the IRS’s Appeals Office without enforcement action; if he doesn’t, the IRS can levy a paycheck or bank account.
Story continues at: Smile for the IRS