Congresswomen Claudia Tenney presses IRS to address outstanding backlog of cases

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Washington, DC – Congresswomen Claudia Tenney (NY-22) sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles P. Rettig regarding the agency’s significant backlog of stimulus payments, 2020 tax returns, and tax refunds.

Tenney has heard from numerous constituents across New York’s 22nd Congressional District who have complained about a lack of responsiveness from the agency as well as difficulty navigating its online information portals.

“I want to remind residents of New York’s 22nd District that if you are having issues with the IRS, my office is here to help,” said Tenney.

“I know that you depend on this money, whether it be a stimulus payment or refund. My office can initiate an inquiry on your behalf to get to the bottom of any delay and help speed up the process. However, the IRS still faces a serious backlog, which is the reason I’m calling on the agency to streamline its entire process to improve its services and increase its responsiveness.”

In her letter, Tenney wrote, “The average tax refund amounts to a month and a half of pay, and my constituents, along with many others across our country, rely on the money they get back from their tax refunds to cover necessities, pay off debt, and keep their families afloat. I understand the challenges your agency faces as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with many filing their taxes after the traditional April 15 deadline. However, the federal government must do better not only to process outstanding returns and to deliver stimulus checks, but also to ensure individuals are apprised of the status of their transactions.”

A signed copy of her letter can be found here and full text of the letter is below.

Dear Commissioner Rettig, 

I have been contacted by numerous seniors, families, and individuals from New York’s 22nd Congressional District regarding delays from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in processing their stimulus payments, 2020 tax returns, and refunds.

Many are relying on their hard-earned money to make ends meet in these challenging times. Others have been left wondering whether they will owe the federal government any extra taxes.

Regardless, they are all in the same position of having to wait on answers from your agency, which never seem to come. 

The average tax refund amounts to a month and a half of pay, and my constituents, along with many others across our country, rely on the money they get back from their tax refunds to cover necessities, pay off debt, and keep their families afloat. 

I understand the challenges your agency faces as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with many filing their taxes after the traditional April 15 deadline.

However, the federal government must do better not only to process outstanding returns and to deliver stimulus checks, but also to ensure individuals are apprised of the status of their transactions.

For example, the “Where’s My Refund?” and the “Get My Payment” features of the website have not worked at all for many constituents.  

It also has come to my attention that seniors and those on Social Security may be impacted disproportionately by these delays.

The three and four month wait times many seniors have encountered are entirely unreasonable. Our senior citizens suffered the most during this pandemic, and the last thing they need now is the added stress of not knowing whether they will be able to put food on the table or afford their life-saving prescriptions. 

The IRS must make better use of its resources to serve our communities adequately.

Our seniors, families, and taxpaying citizens have waited far too long for money they have earned.

I look forward to your prompt resolution of these outstanding cases, and I look forward to hearing any updates you may have for me as this situation continues to evolve. 

Sincerely,

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