The Internal Revenue Service is so desperate to clear a massive backlog of unprocessed tax returns, as more are submitted every day, the agency prepares to hire thousands of people with no experience required.
The IRS said Thursday it plans to hire 5,000 employees to begin work in the next two months to reduce the backlog of more than 20 million returns.
The tax agency said it was speeding up the hiring process and holding a series of job fairs where applicants would be offered jobs on the spot. Job openings are at IRS Services Processing Centers located in Austin, TX; Kansas City, Missouri; and Ogden, Utah.
The IRS recently obtained direct hiring authority for these employees. This will help onboard and train new emergency teams that will start working on the backlog in just a few weeks, the agency said. Many work as clerks and tax examiners in the Payroll and Investments Division. No prior tax experience is required.
The plan to hire 5,000 people is part of a larger goal to fill 10,000 jobs over the next year, the agency said.
“This is an exciting time to work for the Internal Revenue Service,” Ken Corbin, IRS taxpayer experience manager and commissioner of wages and investments, said in a statement. “Those who want to work with customer service as their focus are encouraged to apply. It’s a rewarding job – as these new hires will be processing tax returns and remitting refunds to taxpayers nationwide.”
In addition to new hires, the IRS has implemented a “comprehensive approach to ensure that as many employees as possible devote time to processing returns.” This includes the creation of a new surge team of 700 people to process new returns and mandatory overtime for the more than 6,000 employees who process original returns.
In a recent report to Congress, National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins said the IRS was “in crisis” with a backlog of more than 35.3 million returns awaiting processing as of mid-December – even before the start of this year’s tax filing season. In February, it was reported that nearly 24 million taxpayers were still waiting for the IRS to process returns they filed last year.
Earlier this year, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the IRS “has not been given the resources to properly serve taxpayers in normal times, let alone during a pandemic.” . She added that the backlogs were unacceptable and not what the American public deserves.
The IRS backlog is the result of several issues, Collins noted in his report, including the COVID-19 pandemic, continued reductions in budgets and staffing within the IRS, and the impact of multiple legislative changes. over the past two years. PSAki also acknowledged that the agency needed funding to improve its services.
The IRS has asked that people file their tax returns as soon as possible to avoid delays, which are expected to be long.
The filing deadline for submitting 2021 tax returns or an extension to file and pay tax owing is Monday, April 18, 2022, for most taxpayers. Taxpayers in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 19, 2022 to file their returns due to the Patriots Day holiday in those states. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Monday, October 17, 2022 to submit their file.