Tax season starts with boosted IRS workforce, new technology as agency begins to deploy $80 billion in funding

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Tax season kicked off for individual filers Monday with a much bigger IRS customer support workforce and enhanced know-how because the company begins to deploy its almost $80 billion in funding. 

Over the previous a number of months, the IRS has employed 5,000 new customer support employees, aiming to “considerably enhance” the variety of answered calls, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo instructed reporters Friday.

IRS service was flagged as one of many company’s “most severe issues” within the Nationwide Taxpayer Advocate’s 2022 annual report, with solely 13% of callers reaching reside help throughout the 2022 submitting season.

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The IRS will bolster in-person help at Taxpayer Assistance Centers throughout the nation, placing the company on monitor to “triple the variety of Individuals served,” Adeyemo mentioned.

The company additionally plans to enhance customer support via know-how, together with the flexibility for filers to reply to sure IRS notices on-line and for the IRS to scan paper returns. 

“These enhancements showcase how we’re modernizing each know-how and customer support to deliver the IRS into the twenty first century and the way the IRS plans to deploy [Inflation Reduction Act] sources within the years to come back,” Adeyemo mentioned.

Enacted in August, the Inflation Discount Act allotted $79.6 billion to the IRS over the following 10 years, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen outlined priorities quickly after — equivalent to clearing the tax return backlog, bettering customer support, overhauling know-how and hiring employees.

The IRS goals to ship a plan for the almost $80 billion in funding to Yellen in February, in response to a Treasury official. 

In the meantime, Home Republicans in January voted to slash the newly enacted IRS funding after months of scrutiny of the company’s plans. Nonetheless, the measure does not have the help to cross within the Democratic-controlled Senate.

‘Mild on the finish of the tunnel’ for the IRS

The 2023 tax submitting season kicks off after a difficult interval for the IRS. Regardless of promises to clear the backlog, as of Dec. 23 there have been nonetheless 1.91 million unprocessed particular person returns obtained in 2022, in response to the agency.

Nonetheless, the IRS could also be primed for a better 2023 filing season after making “appreciable progress” in lowering the pileup, Nationwide Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins mentioned in her annual report.

“We’ve got begun to see the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel,” she wrote. “I’m simply undecided how a lot additional we now have to journey earlier than we see daylight.”

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