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Backlog at IRS causing tax season headaches

Tax season is upon us, and it could be a messy one. There's a massive backlog at the IRS. Here's the lowdown on what to expect from an accountant in Scranton.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Glynn Murphy is a certified public accountant in Scranton. He misses the days when his clients could sit across from him, and they could go through their tax documents together, in person. His office in Scranton has remained closed throughout the entire pandemic.

"We've been doing what I call 'COVID tax returns' for a solid two years now," said Murphy.

Those "COVID tax returns" can be confusing. Between stimulus payments, unemployment checks, and child tax credits, it's hard to keep track of it all.

The more confusing it is, the more room for mistakes. The more mistakes, the longer it'll take for you to get your money.

"If you say you didn't get it, and you really did get it, your return is going to take a boatload of time to get done," added Murphy.

Making matters worse, there's a massive backlog at the IRS.

A whopping nearly 24 million taxpayers still haven't gotten their return from last year.

"All those people that are dedicated to those 24 million paper returns from last year are holding up the IRS from approving refunds this year."

The agency is short-staffed, and there are still plenty of IRS employees working from home.

"They have a mass of mail-in tax returns that human beings have to open and scan, and then triage to whatever department it needs to go to," added Murphy. "Until all of this is done, it doesn't even get in front of an IRS agent."

Murphy says the people getting paid the fastest are the ones with the most consistency in their lives, which is a rare thing in the age of COVID-19.

People have changed jobs and changed cities. All of that could slow down your return.

The best advice from Murphy is to not mail anything and file electronically. Even then, he says you can expect delays.

"We already e-filed over 200 tax returns, and I've only seen about three percent of those coming back as refunds so far."

He says you shouldn't expect anyone at the IRS to answer the phone.

Click here for more information about Glynn Murphy, CPA.

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