What if I tell you that one of the reasons why your tax returns are delayed is because the IRS claims their printers are out of ink and copiers have broken down? Do you find it frustrating or hilarious? This must be a joke, right?
With the printers out of ink, employees claim they cannot use them. They also mentioned that service for suppliers and maintenance on these ended last year in September.
The IRS has been dealing with a slow processing pace for tax returns. One of the main reasons is that 69 devices were unusable since March 30th, contributing to the backlog and an agency-wide problem. However, there was also a late start on filing taxes this year due to changes in laws and short staffing by the agency overall.
But can you believe they are using the reason “out of ink” printers as to why the tax returns are delayed?
This year, the IRS has issued 36 million tax refunds so far. This number is significantly lower than last year, when 52.7 million were refunded around this time of year—that means 32% fewer people are receiving their returns back!
The IRS has faced continued challenges to this day. At the end of 2020, they had a backlog of more than 11 million paper returns that needed to be processed for individuals and businesses. And again, add in the “out of ink” printers and short-staffed problems too! Perhaps all these factors explain why tax return paperwork takes so long nowadays.
The IRS said it could hire only 2,021 employees out of the 5,473 that they needed in the 2021 fiscal year. This is just 37% of their target number, which caused a delay in tax refunds and increased application processing time by applicants.
The IRS is so understaffed they cannot keep up with the number of calls from taxpayers. They only answered 4.4 out of 46 million phone calls made to them this year!
With the IRS under a lot of scrutiny lately, hopefully, they can resolve some of these problems. Maybe in the meantime, we can all donate some ink cartridges?