The Washington Post reports the following and its breathtaking (not in a good way).
The Internal Revenue Service on Thursday scrapped plans to close one of its three remaining tax processing centers amid a backlash over an unprecedented accumulation of unprocessed tax returns that threatens to derail the 2022 tax filing season.
IRS leaders announced plans in 2016 to close the Austin facility to cut costs at the long-underfunded agency and redirect resources to online tax-filing services.
Nearly 90 percent of tax filers submit their returns online, a number the agency is trying to boost to improve efficiency and accuracy. But that still leaves tens of millions of paper returns for the IRS to process at centers like Austin. And the agency has fallen behind: It has a backlog of 24 million tax returns, with some refunds held up for 10 months or more.
Eight in 10 filers received refunds in 2021, IRS data shows, and a delayed refund can have profound consequences: Millions of taxpayers rely on that money for basic living expenses, and delays can have an enduring impact on households that are strapped for cash or taxpayers who build their refunds into their financial plans.
Critics of the IRS’s plans to wind down the Austin facility by 2024 — including the agency’s inspector general, the National Taxpayer Advocate Service and congressional Democrats — cautioned that slowing the agency’s operations could create significant financial hardship for millions of families. February 17, 2022 at 4:22 p.m. EST