Many families still wondering when to get their much-needed stimulus payments from the federal government to help them deal with the coronavirus pandemic remain frustrated.
The germ of this frustration is no secret; The blame lies in the months of the stone walls of Congress, as well as the inadequate demand of the American people for the required goal.
Looking back at last year’s tax filing season for the 2019 tax year, millions of Americans can’t lose sight of the struggles they faced due to delays in getting income taxes back well into the summer.
The Internal Revenue Service facilities have been closed for an extended period. Many paper returns – even many that were sent to the IRS in the early days of tax filing season – were reportedly held in trailers for months, while remote employee electronic returns were given priority.
For the IRS, last year’s tax returns season provided, or should have provided, a roadmap for a better 2020 returns experience – returns that many taxpayers are already pointing out, or at least gathering the necessary documentation to enable actual preparation.
Unfortunately, this year’s 2020 tax return is already turning into yet another nightmare and, all in all, maybe a nightmare that is far worse than last year.
Accountants should keep in mind where the blame lies when their bills and other obligations come due and they lack funds to make payments.
The stimulus package that was passed last month wasn’t generous, but it promised at least some temporary financial headroom.
But while some families in need have received the payments they are entitled to, many still have not, and these non-recipients have the right to be frustrated and angry about the uncertainty they are experiencing.
They don’t deserve what they are given.
Now is the time to ponder the reasons for the unfortunate circumstances ahead and, most importantly, what steps should be taken to face the difficulties many families will endure.
Then there is the delay at the start of the tax return season.
In a normal year, the IRS would start filing feedback in late January. This year, the IRS won’t start accepting individual income tax returns until Feb. 12 as the federal tax agency is still grappling with last-minute changes to the tax law – a worrying situation for many early applicants.
The tax authorities said on Jan. 15 that after the late passage of the relief law in late December, it also needed time to program and test its computer systems – a legitimate excuse. However, the agency has not been very open to details related to eliminating many of the delays and the seemingly irresponsible retention of tax returns and priority “techniques” that apply to 2019 tax returns.
“We ask taxpayers to be patient,” the IRS said in a statement.
For most of the years before this it had been easier to be patient.
But is that really too much to ask with all the challenges and needs that have developed in 2020 and will remain alive in 2021?