The IRS and COVID

If you think the place where you work is in bad shape or at least less efficient because people are working remotely due to Covid, then imagine what the IRS must be like! IRS offices have been shut down, and while some have reopened, they are not yet fully back and there remains a backlog, meaning your tax refund, if you are owed one, could be delayed.

July 15

This past Wednesday, July 15, was the deadline to file your taxes and make any payments due on 2019 taxes. I trust that if you did not file on the traditional April 15 date that you did complete your filing by Wednesday.

If you did complete your filing and if you filed via old-fashioned paper filing, it is likely that any refund you are owed will be delayed. According to this article in the Wall Street Journal, which I highly recommend as it will answer some FAQ’s that you might have, the IRS, while it has reopened somewhat, is still working through its backlog from April 15. After that, the IRS can start reviewing returns filed since April 15, including those filed on the July 15 deadline. I’m guessing that will take a long time. Electronic filers are faring better.

IMO

The IRS is staffed by people (believe it or not), and IRS people have been subject to the same Covid shutdown restrictions as other workplaces. In this light, filing your tax returns via old-fashioned mail-in doesn’t seem to be the best or most efficient way to do so especially if you are owed a refund. You probably have stopped hand-writing letters and post cards and sticking those in the mail, in favor of email or text messaging. If that’s the case, do the same with your tax returns and e-file them. I am likely preaching to the choir here, but if not, get with it! No time like the present to start making your tax filings online. A different government agency, the Post Office, loses out in the process, but that’s a different conversation.

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