How many frustrations can taxpayers take?
Unanswered phone calls, tax returns sitting in limbo, erroneous notices, stimulus payment notices that don’t match what was paid?
Let’s pull one more straw…30 million paper business returns...destroyed.
Why? According to the IRS, they couldn’t manage the backlog, so they decided to destroy the returns! Sadly, this decision was made in March 2021, yet news of this is just now coming to light.
Although the IRS notes that only information returns (ex: 1099 MISC forms) were destroyed because they can’t be processed after a certain point due to “system limitations”, this sort of behavior and carelessness hasn’t gone unnoticed. We strongly doubt any private employer would accept their client’s documents being destroyed because it’s “too late” due to system limitations rather than set deadlines being ignored. In this case, the taxpayers didn’t miss the deadline, but rather the IRS failed to keep up with the workload and decided “oh well, too late now”.
Many are now calling for the IRS Commissioner’s resignation with concerns about decision-making and his ability to perform his required duties. Although the IRS tried to mitigate some of the backlash by noting that these documents are informational only and no taxpayer or business would incur penalties or issues, that hasn’t removed the frustration felt by many. The overall problems still stand; no one at the IRS can be reached, the IRS records continue to contain discrepancies, returns continue to go delayed or unprocessed at all, and the reliability of the IRS has been less than subpar.
With all the issues experienced over the past year and a half, it’s vital that we hold the IRS to the same level of accountability that we are held to. While it’s no secret that the funding, updates, staffing, and software within the IRS is nothing less than a severe shortfall, we as taxpayers are not permitted to those same excuses, and neither should they be.
Cohn, M. (2022, May 10). IRS destroyed 30m paper information returns due to backlog. Accounting Today. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://www.accountingtoday.com/news/irs-destroyed-30m-paper-information-returns-due-to-backlog