IRS Commissioner: Tax Season off to ‘Strong Start’

April 7, 2022

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig testified before the Senate Finance Committee on April 7th to provide an update on the current filing season, and said it was off to a “strong start.”

“I am pleased to report the 2022 filing season got off to a strong start in terms of tax return processing and the operation of our information technology systems,” Rettig told the panel.

Rettig noted that through April 1st the IRS has processed more than 89 million individual federal tax returns and issued more than 63 million refunds totaling more than $204 billion.

The commissioner also said that the IRS seeks to answer 8.5 out of ten calls by the end of this calendar year.  

“We cannot carry this into calendar year 2023,” Rettig said, hedging that answering 70% of calls might be a more realistic goal by year end.

The IRS Commissioner also hopes to clear the paper backlog by year-end. There are currently 11.5 million unprocessed tax returns at the IRS, according to Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who sits on the Committee.

Rettig acknowledged that despite the strong start the agency is still suffering through several issues that have frustrated tax preparers and taxpayers.

“While the current filing season has so far presented no major disruptions or surprises, we know we have a great deal of work to do in many other areas of the IRS,” he said, adding that his goal is to hire roughly 10,000 new IRS workers over the next two years.

The IRS Commissioner also vowed to send ERTC to businesses, which the agency is having trouble completing. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the Committee’s Chairman, deemed it a “win-win” if the tax agency could send those payments out in a timely manner.

It was also raised during the hearing that disaster relief from storms that occurred in 2021 has not been released. Rettig did not directly respond to this situation.

Testimony from the IRS Commissioner is here.

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