Tax season begins as the IRS begins to allocate $80 billion in funding

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tax season started for individual filers on Monday with a larger IRS client services team and improved technology as the agency begins deploying its nearly $80 billion in funding.

In recent months, the IRS has hired 5,000 new customer service agents to “significantly increase” the number of calls answered, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told reporters on Friday.

The IRS service was named one of the agency’s “most serious issues” in the National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2022 annual report, with only 13% of callers reaching live assistance during the 2022 filing season.

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The IRS will increase personal support below Taxpayer Assistance Centers across the country and put the agency on track to “triple the number of Americans served,” Adeyemo said.

The agency also plans to improve customer service through technology, including the ability for claimants to respond to certain IRS notices online and for the IRS to scan paper returns.

“These improvements demonstrate how we are modernizing both technology and customer service to bring the IRS into the 21st century and how the IRS plans to deploy [Inflation Reduction Act] resources in the coming years,” said Adeyemo.

The Inflation Reduction Act, enacted in August, made $79.6 billion available to the IRS over the next 10 years, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen soon after set priorities — like clearing tax arrears, improving customer service, overhauling technology and hiring employees.

According to a Treasury Department official, the IRS intends to present Yellen with a plan for nearly $80 billion in funding in February.

Meanwhile, House Republicans voted in January to cut newly introduced IRS funding after months of deliberating the agency’s plans. However, the measure does not have the support to pass in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

“Light at the end of the tunnel” for the IRS

The 2023 tax filing season begins after a challenging time for the IRS. Despite Promising to clear the backlog, in 2022 there were still 1.91 million unprocessed individual returns received as of December 23 the Agency.

However, the IRS may be prepared for a better filing season in 2023 after making “significant progress” in reducing revenue, National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins said in her annual report.

“We’ve started to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she wrote. “I’m just not sure how far we have to travel before we see sunlight.” Tax season begins as the IRS begins to allocate $80 billion in funding

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