Watchdog Slams IRS Over Delays

( – An independent watchdog of the IRS has revealed the agency is getting slower in resolving issues with identity theft.

The agency reportedly takes 22 months to fix issues relating to identity theft compared to the previous year’s timetable of 19 months. The IRS has a backlog of 500,000 cases that are waiting to be resolved, which is causing financial hardship for some Americans.

Erin Collins is the head of the group that ensures Americans are protected under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. She said the fact it is taking nearly two years for the IRS to resolve identity theft cases is “unconscionable.” The report laid out some specific harms that occur for low-income taxpayers who have been a victim of identity theft. They are often living week to week and are unable to make ends meet without their expected income in the bank. The report also said these Americans are more likely to be denied funding for loans that would help them through the waiting period until their cases get resolved.

Two out of every three identity theft victims fall in the category of low-income, which means they cannot afford significant delays as they are trying to pay the bills.

Daniel Werfel, the IRS Commissioner, agreed with the sentiment of the report that the IRS has a lot of work to do in order to improve. He also said that these improvements will take some time and fixing all the issues with the agency is not an “overnight journey.” Collins believes the IRS will start improving as a result of the extra funding that was provided under the Inflation Reduction Act.

The employee retention credit was offered to businesses during the pandemic in the amount of thousands of dollars per eligible employee. The agency reportedly has had “questionable” claims and enacted a moratorium on claims in September. Almost all filings that weren’t processed at the time of the moratorium are still sitting in limbo.

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