Taxpayer Advocate Delivers 2023 Annual Report on the IRS to Congress

IRS reportThe 2023 Report to Congress by the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) Erin Collins has been released. The report depicts an agency in transition with challenges to overcome in providing services to the nation’s taxpayers.


Each year, the NTA compiles and releases a report on the functions and dysfunctions of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) relative to its biggest clients—U.S. taxpayers. The work is a “report card” on the IRS and details recommendations for the agency to improve its services. Current problem areas identified by the NTA include:

  • Paper is a problem: The NTA continues to identify delays and backlogs in the processing of tax returns filed on paper. In 2023, the backlog of paper returns in October 2023 was 1.9 million returns—four times as large as the IRS paper return backlog at year-end 2019. At the same time, taxpayer correspondence has doubled and the length of time for the agency to process a pending case and provide a refund has slowed. The NTA attributes the severity of the backlog to a decision by the IRS to up its game by committing customer service representatives to answering at least 85 percent of customer calls. Because the same representatives also process paper returns—paper processing time increased overall. The NTA suggests the IRS create a better plan for moving employees between functions to answer the phones when needed—and process returns when calls drop off.
  • And the telephones are still a problem: Although the IRS prioritized answering its phones over processing paper returns last year, over fiscal year 2023, the IRS was still only able to answer 29 percent of its customer service calls.
  • Slow attention to identity theft:  According to the NTA, at year-end 2023, the approximate waiting time for the IRS to assist and process problems related to taxpayer identity theft was 19 months. For the 500,000 people trying to get untangled from losing their identity and tax refunds to scammers, the delay is “unconscionable,” according to Ms. Collins.


Next month, we will detail the targeted recommendations made by the NTA to improve IRS services—including better design and function of personal IRS tax accounts.


And remember—tax season is a great time for tax crime. When bad actors steal personal financial information or hack into your accountant’s computer system, there can be long-term impacts, including tax fraud. Be careful with your tax information and always be careful where you click.


Speak with our tax attorneys today about an IRS audit, criminal tax charge, or pending tax litigation

With offices in Chicago and Cleveland, the legal team at Robert J. Fedor, Esq., LLC delivers strategic representation and guidance on compliance questions, tax litigation, or payroll tax issues. Call 800-579-0997 or contact us online today.


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