When it comes to the IRS’s backlog of paper tax returns, a picture is worth a thousand words. This photo was tweeted last week by Natasha Sarin, an economist, law professor, and counselor for tax policy and implementation at the Treasury Department.
At the IRS in Austin, cafeteria is overrun with paper returns awaiting processing by campus’s dedicated employees who will *keystroke* line items into the IRS’s database
Investing in the IRS essential to overhaul this manual system, so agency can serve taxpayers way they deserve pic.twitter.com/jDZsz01uv4
— Natasha Sarin (@NatashaRSarin) June 11, 2022
We knew the stacks upon stacks upon stacks of unprocessed paper tax returns at the IRS was bad. National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins blogged about how bad it really is last March, writing that the backlog stood at nearly 15 million returns as of March 18, and recommended a way to fix the clog of paper returns. But you don’t realize the magnitude of it all until you see that photo above of an IRS employee cafeteria, not some warehouse or basement, engulfed in tons of paper.