US IRS plans 10,000 hires to clear millions of unprocessed tax returns

A sign for the Internal Revenue Service building can be seen in Washington
A sign for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building is seen in Washington, the United States, September 28, 2020. REUTERS/Erin Scott

March 11, 2022

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Internal Revenue Service plans to launch job fairs and other efforts to hire 10,000 new employees over the next few months to help clean up millions of unprocessed tax returns, the Treasury Department said on Thursday.

The IRS will also form a new 700-strong “surge team” to process new returns at its locations in Kansas City, Austin, Texas and Ogden, Utah, the Treasury Department said.

On February 5, the Office of the National Taxpayer Advocate announced that the IRS had a backlog of approximately 23.5 million tax returns that still required some form of manual processing, including 13.5 million from individuals, 7.2 million from companies and 2.8 million of unspecified applicants.

The backlog is due in part to delayed filing seasons over the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Treasury Department also blamed a decade of IRS budget cuts for keeping the agency the same size as it was in 1970, despite a 60% increase in staff of the US population and a more complex American economy.

The IRS said it will hold job fairs in its Kansas City, Austin and Ogden locations to fill 5,000 open positions and 5,000 new positions.

The Treasury Department said the agency also requires mandatory overtime for more than 6,000 employees who process original returns, and overtime pay is also available for about 10,000 other employees who process amended returns and taxpayer correspondence.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Diane Craft and Andrea Ricci) US IRS plans 10,000 hires to clear millions of unprocessed tax returns


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