IRS Annual Report Highlights Pandemic Accomplishments, With Focus on Taxpayer Experience

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jan 10, 2022
IRS Progress Update cover-240

The IRS has released its 2021 annual report, in which the agency highlights its accomplishments in overseeing various pandemic aid programs as well as looks to the future for further improvements to the taxpayer experience, particularly where it comes to technology. 

The focus area of the Putting Taxpayers First report includes 16 projects and 10 subprojects for fiscal year 2021, which emphasize improving taxpayer experience and service. Several projects in this focus area support key provisions of the Taxpayer First Act (TFA) as well as enhancements to IRS communications

The IRS noted that, since the pandemic began, it has successfully delivered more than $1.5 trillion to people across the nation through Economic Impact Payments, tax refunds and advance Child Tax Credit payments. A large portion of that amount was distributed during fiscal year 2021, which is the focal point of this year's Progress Update. 

The IRS also provided examples of how its employees helped taxpayers. These include: 

  • * Expanding information and assistance available to taxpayers in additional languages and underserved communities to help deliver Economic Impact Payments, advance Child Tax Credit payments and other services.

  • * Developing new online portals for individuals to check on their pandemic-related relief payments and make updates to their personal information.

  • * Offering a new online option for tax professionals to obtain signatures from individual and business clients and submit authorization forms electronically. Tax pros also now have an online account option, with new features being added.

  • * Serving their communities outside official duties through charitable work and service projects.

Looking to the future, the IRS said that there will be ongoing work to modernize its technology by continuing to implement the IRS Integrated Business Modernization Plan, which has guided its efforts in this area since the plan was issued in 2019. Going hand in hand with these efforts will be the work done as part of the IRS NEXT initiative in the months and years to come. Through this initiative, the  IRS plans to provide across-the-board service improvements in a cost-effective manner, for taxpayers and tax professionals alike. For instance, the IRS said it wants to make it quicker and easier for taxpayers to file a return, answer a notice or pay a tax bill. 

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