The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reports that it still needs to process 6.7 million individual tax returns from 2019. With this backlog, it seems unfair to expect taxpayers to file their 2020 returns by the April 15 deadline — especially since many taxpayers still do not know where they stand for the 2019 tax year. To make matters even worse, the IRS sent an estimated 260,000 taxpayers notices claiming they had failed to file their 2019 tax returns. It turns out the mailing was an error and the IRS did have many of these filings. They had simply not had a chance to process them.
This left hundreds of thousands of taxpayers frustrated and confused. Will the IRS question their filings or were they correct? Is it really fair to expect taxpayers to move forward when so many have yet to get this basic question answered from the previous year?
If you think not, you are in good company. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the National Association of Tax Professionals requested the IRS extend the 2020 income tax filing deadline. The backlog is not a surprise. The IRS had to shift to remote work just like other businesses throughout the country. But how they are choosing to handle a return to work is concerning. Hopefully the agency will not expect taxpayers to move forward despite the agency’s own wrongdoing.
Taxpayers who find themselves with confusing mailings from the IRS or notices of an impending audit are wise to act to protect their interests. The attorneys at Goldburd McCone are experienced in this complex area of the law and can provide guidance.