IRS backlog leaves millions waiting for stimulus, refund checks

IRS backlog leaves millions waiting for stimulus, refund checks

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are looking into a massive backlog at the Internal Revenue Service and the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the agency.

Officials from both parties say the IRS has been plagued with outdated computer systems, with some of the technology dating back to the Kennedy administration.

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Lawmakers say the IRS has failed to keep up with the needs of taxpayers, as many are already struggling financially from the impacts of the pandemic.

They point to the millions of people still waiting to receive tax returns and stimulus checks.

Since mid-March, the IRS closed down call centers and taxpayer assistance centers, they say, as a means of keeping employees safe in the wake of the threat of COVID-19.

The tax agency says its employees are still working around the clock despite the closures, but says it needs more funding to make improvements.

“Our employees want to do more and we will do more with the assistance of Congress,” IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said.

As of late last month, Rettig says the IRS processed more than 153 million individual tax returns while also processing stimulus checks.

The IRS has given people who haven’t received a stimulus payment additional time to claim it.

They now have until November 21 to file with the IRS if they don’t typically file tax returns and never received a stimulus check.

The IRS has sent letters to 9 million Americans who may have missed out on stimulus payments.