WASHINGTON — Federal tax filing season runs from Jan. 24 to April 18 this year, the Internal Revenue Service said Monday, warning in its announcement that staff shortages and paperwork backlogs could be a messy and frustrating experience for taxpayers.
In a briefing Monday, Treasury Department officials said the IRS would struggle to quickly answer calls from taxpayers with questions and a lower level of service should be expected. They blamed Republican lawmakers for the lack of funds, which have stalled efforts to increase funding for the agency.
The Biden administration has asked the IRS for an additional $80 billion over a decade to bolster enforcement and customer service. That request is part of the administration’s Build Back Better Act, which has stalled in Congress.
Treasury officials noted that in the first half of last year, fewer than 15,000 employees were available to handle more than 240 million calls — one person for every 16,000 calls.
The tax season will be more complicated than usual this year, as last year pandemic-related economic impact payments and child tax credits were issued. Taxpayers must declare how much money they have received.
The IRS is urging taxpayers to file their returns electronically, saying people generally need to get their money back within 21 days of filing.
Tax Day normally falls on April 15, but due to the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, it is postponed to April 18 for most taxpayers. Filing deadlines for state taxes may vary.