Waiting for a tax refund for your 2022 tax returns? For many, tax returns this year may end up smaller, and beyond that, payments could get delayed as well. Folks looking to get their refunds quickly should sign up for IRS direct deposits, which the Agency states are the fastest way to get your money. The IRS also notes that those without checking accounts still have direct deposit options.
Still, even if you sign up for direct deposits, the funds may come a bit later than hoped. Among other struggles, the Internal Revenue Service has been swamped with backlogged returns in recent years. Social distancing measures, struggles to fill open positions and tax policy developments, among other factors, have constrained the IRS’s ability to deal with its current workload.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS workforce shrunk. In recent months, a tight labor market has made it even harder for the Agency to fill vacant positions and expand its staff. Roles as a clerk or tax examiner start at only about $15 an hour, and many organizations competing for workers have been willing to pay more. In many places, jobs in retail and fast food now offer wages competitive with what the IRS can pay.
In May 2022, it was reported that the IRS had sought to hire 5,500 processing staffers, but fell 3,400 short. Yet even while shorthanded, the IRS has managed to work through a large chunk of its backlog. Still, the Agency relies on arguably outdated technologies and computer code to operate and collect taxes within the infamously complex American tax code, numbering nearly 80,000 pages. As a result, paperwork may continue to pile up.
Want to ensure your returns get processed ASAP? Make sure to double-check your math and eliminate any potential errors. Yet with so many updates to the tax code in recent years, and the complexities of various benefits extended to taxpayers in the last two tax years due to pandemic-related stimulus measures and their expiration, more folks may make mistakes. Unfortunately, even if your tax return is perfect, confusion elsewhere could slow down refunds.