IRS plans to hire 10,000 workers to tackle backlog of 20 million unprocessed returns

Signage outside the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) headquarters in Washington, D.C.
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The IRS plans to hire 10,000 workers to tackle a massive backlog of more than 20 million unprocessed returns, including filings from previous years.

They hope to fill 5,000 open positions in the coming months, with another 5,000 new hires over the next year.

“To ensure inventory is back to a healthy level for next filing season, we are leaving no stone unturned — taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to ensure as many employees as possible are dedicating time to return processing,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.

“This includes bringing on new employees and reassigning current IRS employees to process inventory,” he said.

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However, the hiring spree may not provide a boost for the current filing season, according to National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins.

“If you hire somebody tomorrow, maybe by summer they’ll be up and operational,” she said Thursday during a Tax Policy Center event, explaining there’s a 12-week training “just for the basics.”

Still, the influx of new employees may help beyond the April 18 tax deadline, as many Americans file for extensions.

Sophie Tremblay

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