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IRS Introduces “Surge Team” to Combat the Backlog


By now, most of us have heard about how large the IRS backlog is.  The IRS is under such pressure and scrutiny from all parties that it created a “surge team” of reinforcements about two weeks ago. The sole purpose of the team was to cut into the backlog of millions of unprocessed returns from last year.  The 1,200 reassigned staffers seemed to help the IRS on its mission, but now they are calling for a second round of reinforcements.

Surge Team

It is still unclear at this time how many additional reinforcements the IRS was able to pull.  What is clear, is that the IRS has finally pulled the emergency lever and is taking action to complete the massive amount of work they have yet to finish.  Erin Collins, the IRS’s national taxpayer advocate said in a recent Senate hearing, “The first wave of reassignments was “an important first step, the second wave provides additional resources on the processing challenges.” Erin Collin’s in this statement relayed to taxpayers that while there is an improvement, there will still be massive challenges to be had this tax season by the IRS.

Closing Facilities

In addition to acquiring another “surge team”, the IRS is canceling its plans to close its Tax Processing Center in Austin, Texas.  This move may work in the favor of the IRS as the National Treasury Employees Union (NETU) says will, “Help the agency address its backlog of returns, continue processing new ones and improve the overall level of service to taxpayers.”

Wrap Up

It now seems the IRS is making more appropriate moves to deal with the massive amount of work they have remaining from last year, and the amount of work to be done this tax season.  While the IRS has been granted increased human capital, for the time being, they have been consistently calling on Congress to authorize multi-year funding to support their IT modernization efforts. We will keep a close eye on this as it progresses to keep you updated this filing season!

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