2022 Tax Filing Season Recap and Tax Support

Share this post

The report, released on May 2, by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, found that backlog inventories left over from the 2021-22 filing season are larger than those in the 2020 filing season. More than 16.4 million individual tax returns, transactions and Accounts Management cases remained in inventory as of the end of calendar year 2021.

The number of unprocessed paper returns left as of April 21, 2022 was 1.8 million from 2021 and 4 million from 2022 (Although the tax season just ended a few weeks ago so the 2022 returns shouldn’t be considered a backlog). The IRS expects to receive 160.7 million individual income tax returns for the 2021 filing season.. As of March 4, 2022, the IRS received 54.7 million tax returns, of which 53.2 million (97.2%) were electronically filed, and tax refunds totaling $129.2 billion have been issued by the IRS, according to TIGTA’s report. As of March 4, 2022, 1.2 million Free File returns were received, but that was a 30.3% decrease compared to the same period last year. This year, both Intuit and H&R Block are no longer part of the Free File program, which may explain the stark decline  for the 2022 tax filing season.

The IRS cites significant staffing shortages as one cause of backlog inventories and affects the IRS’s ability to ensure that current year tax returns are processed timely. More than 8.4 million individual tax returns and transactions remained to be processed as of the end of calendar year 2021. In addition, more than 8 million cases remained in Accounts Management. This represents a 33% increase in the number of unprocessed tax returns and a 61% increase in the number of amended tax returns that remained to be processed. Paper tax returns in particular exacerbated many of the processing delays at the IRS during the pandemic, especially when unopened correspondence piled up outside IRS facilities in 2020. The IRS has been trying to hire more employees with the goal of hiring 10,000 more within a year.


IRS logo