Let’s just get it out there. The IRS is having tremendous struggles in every operational area, with an unprecedented backlog of incomplete work. At mid-January 2022, the IRS reported that all tax returns timely filed by the due date (not including extensions) that were not pulled for research or verification were completely processed. As of the end of 2021, there IRS had over 6 million unprocessed paper-filed returns and more than 2 million unprocessed amended returns. The backlog, caused by many factors combining to make the “perfect storm”, is not expected to be resolved soon; in fact, with new tax laws it will become worse over the next several months. Unfortunately, contacting the IRS via phone about problems has gotten worse as well. Only about 11% of calls are answered at all, and if one is lucky enough to have their call answered it is often by an inexperienced or temporary employee that may not be able to give an accurate answer.

Clearly, it is best to not have a reason to contact the IRS, and the safest way to avoid having a reason is to file a timely and accurate tax returns.