Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined a group of colleagues last week to call on the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service to provide penalty relief for taxpayers in Oregon and nationwide, amid extensive, ongoing processing backlogs at the IRS.
Lawmakers said while the COVID-19 pandemic has strained every federal agency, the impact on the IRS has been particularly severe. Their letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said as of late December, the IRS continued to have a backlog of 6 million Forms 1040 and 2.3 million amended individual tax returns. In addition, the IRS has 2 million Forms 941-the Employer Quarterly Tax Returns – that must be processed before the nearly 500,000 amended Forms 941 can be processed, according to the letter.
Lawmakers said the delayed processing of amended returns has been particularly devastating to small businesses whose applications for emergency loans from the Small Business Administration have been caught in limbo for nearly two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began.