How The IRS Is Trying To Speed Up The Paperwork Process

by Harry Galstian

May 26, 2022
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Owing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) money is a stressful process. Adding long wait times to that process just makes the stress even worse. But, as many people have experienced recently, long wait times for tax document processing have become a common problem. This isn’t just because the IRS wants to make you wait. They are working hard to fix the problem, even if it may not seem that way to everybody. The reason behind long wait times for tax returns to be processed is that the Internal Revenue Service has a severe backlog. However, this does not explain how this situation arose in the first place, or what’s being done to alleviate it.

Internal Revenue Service Tax Refund Backlog 

The biggest reasons for the Internal Revenue Service tax backlog are understaffing and paper tax filings. Most IRS tax refund forms are submitted to the IRS as paper documents. That paperwork takes time to process. For every paper filing, an Internal Revenue Service employee needs to review the document for errors. The amount of manual labor required to process the nation’s tax filings is extremely high. Outdated digital processing methods can largely be blamed for this problem. The COVID-19 pandemic made matters worse in the short term. In early 2020, the Internal Revenue Service was forced to temporarily shut down many of its offices. This dramatically impacted the speed of processing time for tax returns and other documents. As of May 2022, the IRS is still reporting as many as 9.8 million unfiled tax documents. For millions of Americans, that means their IRS tax refund is still being processed. And for many more, other crucial tax documents have gone untouched. But there may have been a positive to come out of this unprecedented backlog. The Internal Revenue Service even rented containers to accommodate the mail. In response to its current situation, the IRS has increased its efforts to integrate new technology into its operations.

Pilot Internal Revenue Service Program 

The Pilot Internal Revenue Service Program is a new measure taken by the IRS to overhaul its use of new technology. Those interested in the full scope of the Pilot IRS program can read about it on the IRS website. In short, what this program means for most people is filing taxes will be easier, and processing time will decrease. The biggest advantage offered by the Pilot IRS Program is enhanced scanning capabilities. Scanning-as-a-service (SCaaS) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) solutions will cut processing times significantly for the IRS. For individuals who owe the IRS money, these new technologies can help in a handful of ways.

How the Pilot IRS Program Helps Those Who Owe Back Taxes

The simplest way this program benefits you if you owe back taxes is that processing time will be faster. The Internal Revenue Service will be able to scan and file documents more quickly, meaning your case can be resolved sooner. As anyone who has gone through this process knows, there is often a lot of paperwork involved. The less time spent waiting for your case to be processed, the faster your tax debt can be resolved. With new scanning capabilities, the IRS hopes to be able to prioritize “high need” requests. This can be especially beneficial to anyone who owes money or requires additional filing. In addition to accelerating processing time, the pilot IRS program also aims to streamline the process for individuals filing taxes. For those who owe back taxes, this should cut down drastically on uncertainty, and make repayment plans easier to follow. And, the IRS hopes, the streamlined process will cut down on filing errors overall.

If you are struggling with tax debt or back taxes, Direct Tax Relief can help. Do not hesitate to contact us today. Our IRS tax resolution experts will make sure you don’t pay a single cent more than you owe.

Sources:
https://www.irs.gov/about-irs/procurement/about-pilot-irs
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-operations-during-covid-19-mission-critical-functions-continue