IRS tax return backlog swells to 21M as Americans await refunds | Fox Business

The IRS still needs to process more than 21 million paper tax returns, delaying refunds for many Americans as the agency struggles to work through the backlog, a government watchdog said this week.

National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins said in a recent report that the agency still needs to process about 21.3 million paper returns as of May 31 – a 7% increase from this same time last year, when there were 20 million unprocessed paper returns.

"Unfortunately, at this point the backlog is still crushing the IRS, its employees and, most importantly, taxpayers," Collins wrote in the report. "These processing delays are creating unprecedented financial difficulties for millions of taxpayers and outright hardships for many."

Although more than 90% of taxpayers submitted their returns electronically last year at the request of the IRS, some 17 million sent paper filings, exacerbating the pile-up of returns. It is disproportionately older Americans who file their returns via mail. 
 

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