Tax Byte

with Jessica L. Jeane, J.D.

Groundhog Day and the IRS – Backlog Persists

Jessica L. Jeane, J.D.

Jessica L. Jeane, J.D.

VP, Tax Policy & Strategic Partnerships


Does the craziness of the last two filing seasons coupled with the distinct possibility that the chaos at the IRS will continue in 2023 ever make you feel like you’re in Groundhog Day? You know, the movie where Bill Murray is stuck in the time loop, doomed to repeat each day over and over? Pretty reasonable feeling, if so, and you’re not alone.

“It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.” – Phil Connors

Ok, so hopefully the future isn’t quite as dreary as Connors forecasted that winter in Groundhog Day. But the National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins likened the troubling situation for taxpayers to that classic movie in a recent NTA Blog update on the IRS’s progress (and lack thereof) in remedying the backlog.

Groundhog, Backlog

The IRS as of October 21 had nearly three million individual returns and more than four million business returns still awaiting initial processing, not to mention roughly two million amended individual and business returns. Additionally, the IRS has over 250,000 unprocessed Forms 941-X in its inventory, many of which cannot be processed until the related Form 941 is processed first. And as of November 2, the IRS still had nearly 2.5 million Forms 941 in its inventory patiently awaiting process. 

“We will soon find out whether the upcoming filing season adds a similar chapter to this [Groundhog Day] series or whether the IRS can work through its backlog, process tax returns and correspondence quickly, and answer its phone calls at a level that substantially improves the taxpayer experience during the next filing season,” Collins said.

Read more from Collins on the backlog update HERE. And for regular IRS updates regarding its service and processing delays check out its dedicated webpage HERE.


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