(DailyDig.com) – The IRS hasn’t been itself in quite some time. Between office closures and quarantines, the pandemic contributed to a massive backlog of paper returns, which set off a chain reaction that has the entire agency still reeling two years later. The result for far too many taxpayers is the dreaded message: “return declined.”
According to an advice column in The Washington Post, taxpayers continue to experience delays and rejections from the IRS, and in some cases, these issues may be avoidable. The problem typically begins with last year’s return. Agents are still looking at a backlog of prior year returns filed by mail. People who file by mail typically owe taxes, and the IRS cashes their checks immediately, sending receipts that note the returns still need to be processed.
Perspective: This year, more than ever, the IRS wants people to file electronically. But a big processing glitch is preventing some taxpayers from filing. Here's the quick fix for the problem. https://t.co/76KSVoNE2i
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 6, 2022
The problem begins there, as most taxpayers believe their returns are processed and their adjusted gross incomes (AGI) set in stone. When those people attempt to file electronically this year using the AGIs they believe are correct, their returns get kicked back. The system doesn’t recognize the numbers because they aren’t on the official record yet, leaving the unwitting taxpayers confused and frustrated.
The Post’s column offers a quick fix for taxpayers ready to give up and file paper returns: Enter $0 for your AGI, or $1 if you used the IRS nonfiler’s tool last year to get a stimulus payment. No guarantees, but the return should process properly.
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