At this afternoon’s hearing, Commissioner Rettig said IRS hopes to announce “soon” that refunds on returns already filed with unemployment income will be issued without the need for amended returns.
Rettig said that the current backlog of individual returns filed before 1/1/21 is 2.4 million, and IRS hopes to have this cleared by “this summer.”
It isn't just unemployment. We had many that had PTC repayments as well. And if the IRS hasn't even dealt with their 2020 backlog, how will they handle this with their 30 year-old computer system? And many of our clients with unemployment and PTC repayments have already received their refund. Will they receive another? Will it be correct? This will be another hot mess.
It turns out that the 2.4 million are only those returns they have not even started to work on. There are still 5 million returns where they have contacted the taxpayers, and are waiting to hear back. Their responses may be in unopened mail.
IRS does not get the 1099-G file until the end of March, so that is the earliest they can start matching to returns already filed, and attempting to figure if refunds are owed. “Let us take care of it” for now, but they will update that advice if it turns out they can’t. The major issue is on joint returns, figuring out how to allocate the exclusion between spouses. (He didn’t mention community property, but I wonder if that’s what he was thinking.)
Lots of people at IRS are working on mandatory overtime. They still have computer programs that run on COBOL, which few people know. But only 16% of IRS equipment is outdated, compared with 45% a few years ago.
It's available on YouTube. The show starts about 12 minutes in. The Commissioner keeps referring to the American Recovery Act -- still getting used to the Senate renaming it the American Rescue Plan Act.