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The end of the year is rapidly approaching.  You may be hearing the news reports about an "everything shortage" and postal delivery delays.  Not only should you probably be doing your holiday shopping earlier as a result, but you should be getting your W-2 and 1099 form orders in soon to ensure you have them in time for the filing deadline.  Read on for information regarding delays at the IRS.
In 2022, senior citizens will be getting the largest Cost of Living Adjustment to Social Security in 40 years.  They will see  a 5.9% increase in their benefits.  This will be helpful as consumers are about to get hit with higher prices on every day items.  Supply-chain issues and increased costs of material will be passed on to consumers this holiday season and into 2022.  Read more here.

Create an IRS account

As tax preparers, we struggle every year to make sure we have our client's federal estimated tax payments reported correctly.  There isn't an easy way for us to look this information up with the IRS.  This year is looking to be even more frustrating because the IRS paid stimulus payments and child tax credit payments throughout the year.  These will all need to be reported on your tax return and could affect the amount of your refund/balance due if not accurately reported. 

Good news!  You can set up your own IRS account so that you can check your estimates, stimulus and child tax credit payments.  There are step-by-step instructions on how to do this using this link.  Then be sure to bring this info with you to your tax appointment.

IRS Processing Delays

The National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) identified four sources of IRS delays:

  • Pandemic-related issues;
  • Last-minute changes to the tax laws;
  • Reduced staffing; and
  • Outdated systems and technology.
What is the result of these sources of IRS delays? As of May 1, 2021, more than two weeks before this year’s filing deadline, the IRS had:
  • 8.8 million returns in its Error Resolution System (ERS);
  • 15.8 million unprocessed 2019 and 2020 paper-filed returns; and
  • 5.5 million returns with processing errors or suspected identity theft issues.

That’s a total of just over 30 million returns requiring manual processing. To provide some context, as of the same date, the IRS had successfully processed 116 million returns. So, out of roughly 146 million returns filed by May 1, 2021, 20% of all returns filed still had not been successfully processed.

Checking the IRS’s “Where’s my refund?” tool is not very helpful because if a return is delayed for one of the aforementioned reasons, the tool will not provide any additional information.

Taxpayers and their professional advisors who want to call the IRS for answers are left similarly frustrated. The NTA has reported that the IRS’s customer service representatives only answered about 2% of the roughly 70 million phone calls coming into their 1040 telephone lines.

What can tax professionals do to help their clients through the IRS’s delays? Very little. Of the backlog problems facing the IRS, there is only one that really has any action that tax professionals can take: suspected identity theft.  Tax professionals can have their clients obtain Identity Protection Personal Identification Numbers (IP PINs). Doing so will limit the chances that their clients’ income tax returns will be selected for suspected identity theft. Other than that, all we can do is wait for the IRS to catch up.

IP PINs can be obtained through the IRS at

If we have been unsuccessful at resolving your issue with the IRS, please see the above article regarding setting up your own IRS account.  Many taxpayer's have had more luck resolving issues through their own accounts than tax professionals working on their behalf.

Introducing Albert Yang

We would like to welcome our new staff accountant, Albert Yang.  He is a Butte County native and recently received his bachelor's degree in accounting from CSU, Chico.  In his free time he enjoys engaging in various activities such as watching shows, playing sports, cooking, and more. He hopes to learn, grow, and prosper with the Merrell Irwin accounting firm and looks forward providing exceptional service to our clients.

Our offices will be closed November 25 & 26
to allow our staff to enjoy Thanksgiving with their families.  We wish you all a very
happy Thanksgiving!


Have an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and haven't been getting any statements?  That's because the SBA has extended the deferral period.  However, interest is still accruing on your balance from the date the loan was taken.  In some cases this has increased the loan balance by several thousand dollars and could take several years of payments before you start paying any of the original loan balance back.  Therefore, we encourage you to start making payments if possible to avoid additional interest charges.  You can set up recurring payments online.

NEW Donated Fresh Fruits or Vegetables Credit

AB 150 (Ch. 21-82) extends the New Donated Fresh Fruits or Vegetables Credit for five years, and it is now available through the 2026 taxable year. The credit is equal to 15% of the qualified value of the donated items and may only be claimed by taxpayers involved in growing, harvesting, packing, or processing the donated items.  (California only)

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