Today, Congressman John Sarbanes joined Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, Kweisi Mfume and David Trone (all D-Md.) for a meeting with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig.
The meeting served as a follow up to letters from Team Maryland, as well as other Senate and House members, over the last few months, as they continue to prioritize ensuring the IRS is more responsive to the requests of Marylanders, many of whom have been caught in the massive backlog currently facing the agency that has been spread thin over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the 2021 tax season ends in less than two weeks on April 18, millions of returns remain unprocessed from the 2020 tax-filing season.
“There is a crisis at the IRS that needs to be addressed. We thank the IRS workers who, despite staffing shortages in the midst of a pandemic, were tasked with processing taxes, as well as Economic Impact Payments, Child Tax Credit advances, Employee Retention Tax Credits and other critical COVID-related programs. The recent FY 2022 spending package and the president’s budget seek to reverse the agency’s historic underfunding, but we still need high-level action from IRS leadership to reduce the backlog and put the IRS on a better path to improved customer service,” the lawmakers said after the meeting.
“We made clear to Commissioner Rettig that as the IRS is given more tools and resources to accomplish its mission, we need to know that our constituents will see relief soon. Those who have yet to have their 2020 returns processed must be helped; the businesses due millions of dollars on their Employee Retention Tax Credit claims from mid-2021 should finally receive what is due; and the IRS must finally respond with tax transcripts requested for claims for SBA EIDL funds that are intended to keep small businesses afloat during this difficult recovery period. We fully acknowledge the strain the IRS and its workers have endured, but there is more that must be done to overcome these immense challenges.”