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IRS has a 12.3 million pieces of mail backlog
Old 07-02-2020, 12:17 PM   #1
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IRS has a 12.3 million pieces of mail backlog

Hearing in Congress today. There is apparently some chat going on to extend the filing deadline for 2019 taxes until 10/15.

As of today the IRS commissioner is saying the deadline won't be extended.

The head of the National Treasury Employees Union is pushing for another extension. 12.3 million piece backlog of mail as of May 16 4.7 million of those were tax returns.

I haven't filed and am having trouble connecting with my tax guy, who I learned just got back from a trip to Vegas..give me strength. Right now I think I'll do a paper extension send a payment and let that pile up with the 12.3 pieces already waiting to be opened
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:01 PM   #2
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Interesting. Seems like there are a lot of things in government that aren't moving too quickly these days.

I got an email a couple days ago from a law school friend asking if I was looking for a j*b. He is working from home for the SBA helping to process flagged PPP loan applications. The expectations for this j*b is that you are available/willing/able to w*rk on these applications between 10-12 hours a day 7 (yes, SEVEN) days a week. They are also still working on applications from Hurricane Harvey! If you don't remember, that hurricane was in August of 2017.

Oh, and I think it goes without saying, I told my friend that I was NOT interested in w*rking at all, let alone 80+ hours a week!
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Old 07-02-2020, 02:07 PM   #3
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For those individuals whose 2018 tax returns qualified them for a stimulus payment, but their 2019 tax return did not, would it be of any benefit to apply for a tax filing extension? If a 2nd tax stimulus is approved by Congress, would this delayed filing possibly be to one’s benefit?
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Old 07-02-2020, 02:36 PM   #4
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Years ago I was part of a team to respond to the IRS on renovating the way they handled mail and allow modernizing their legacy systems. In the end they canceled the RFP for lack of funding.

I do remember some of the descriptions of the current processes and systems. They have problems.
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Old 07-02-2020, 02:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ivinsfan View Post
...I think I'll do a paper extension send a payment and let that pile up with the 12.3 pieces already waiting to be opened
I owe a lot of money with my 2019 return due to a large Roth conversion last December. I also owe estimated payments for 1Q and 2Q this year. If there's no additional extension, I like the idea of sending paper checks for all this and letting it go into the pile. Of course, I'll have to hold the cash in my checking account anyway, where it doesn't earn anything. So it doesn't really buy me much except some personal amusement.

And yes, we qualified for stimulus based on 2018. Income in 2019 is significantly higher due to the Roth conversion. So I also like the idea of filing an extension, just in case there's a 2nd round of stimulus with similar criteria. And if there is, I bet they send a 2nd check to my deceased FIL.
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Old 07-02-2020, 03:07 PM   #6
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Someone here just talked to IRS phone support for the Utah processing center. They are not due to return to the office until around July 13 and figure it will take until Aug to begin processing piled up returns, if they do in fact return on July 13. They have been accuring pay and bennies at the normal rate since the shutdown. If I worked there I'd be temped to use up some vacation time to avoid the chaos at the office.

One wonders if the IRS will ever be able to dig itself out of this hole. This shutdown happened during prime tax season.
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Old 07-02-2020, 04:56 PM   #7
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Just mailed my estimates today, It'll be interesting to see when the IRS, and the state of PA, cash those checks. I he suspect that the estimates will be cashed rather timely, the address will probably reveal what is in the envelope.
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Old 07-02-2020, 05:23 PM   #8
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Just mailed my estimates today, It'll be interesting to see when the IRS, and the state of PA, cash those checks. I he suspect that the estimates will be cashed rather timely, the address will probably reveal what is in the envelope.
I sent in estimates taxes for Fed and State in April. They were cashed before I returned from the post office.

I'll probably mail the next set this weekend.
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:09 PM   #9
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just the other day i finally received a green return from written information sent to the IRS last April. roughly 9-weeks.
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:09 PM   #10
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They have separate addresses for refunds and payments for a reason. I've never mailed a check to a tax collector that "sat in a pile" for any significant amount of time.
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:06 PM   #11
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For those individuals whose 2018 tax returns qualified them for a stimulus payment, but their 2019 tax return did not, would it be of any benefit to apply for a tax filing extension? If a 2nd tax stimulus is approved by Congress, would this delayed filing possibly be to one’s benefit?
As long as you got the stimulus check, you are golden.
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:11 PM   #12
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They have separate addresses for refunds and payments for a reason. I've never mailed a check to a tax collector that "sat in a pile" for any significant amount of time.
I'm pretty sure some of those 4 million plus unopened tax returns have a check inside.
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Old 07-03-2020, 08:04 AM   #13
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I filed my 2019 return in March. They cashed the check immediately, but did not process my return. So we got a stimulus payment based on 2018 numbers.
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Old 07-03-2020, 08:07 AM   #14
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I filed my 2019 return in March. They cashed the check immediately, but did not process my return. So we got a stimulus payment based on 2018 numbers.
So when they say "unopened" returns maybe they mean opened but not yet processed into the system..
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Old 07-03-2020, 08:33 AM   #15
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Just mailed my estimates today, It'll be interesting to see when the IRS, and the state of PA, cash those checks. I he suspect that the estimates will be cashed rather timely, the address will probably reveal what is in the envelope.
Do you choose not to use the electronic payment system or just default to snail mail and checks?
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Old 07-03-2020, 09:16 AM   #16
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I filed my 2019 return in March. They cashed the check immediately, but did not process my return. So we got a stimulus payment based on 2018 numbers.
I guess that happened with me, too. My 2019 return, filed in mid-March, showed an income too high to get a stimulus check. But I got one anyway, so they must have used my 2018 income which had an income low enough to get the check.
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Old 07-13-2020, 03:02 PM   #17
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I just snail-mailed my 2019 extension as well as 2020 estimates for 1Q and 2Q. We owe a lot of money with the 2019 return due to a large Roth conversion last December. But we qualified for the last stimulus based on 2018. So the extension is just in case there's another round of stimulus with similar criteria. No rush to get our data in their system, although they could infer quite a bit based on the size of the check I sent.

I decided to do the two estimates by paper as well, just for fun. We'll see how long it takes to process my paper checks once they are added to the pile. I suspect it won't really take very long... probably a lot more automated than I'm envisioning. But this whole process was weirdly nostalgic... writing checks, licking envelopes, hunting for stamps, driving to the post office.
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Old 07-13-2020, 03:11 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Cobra9777 View Post
I just snail-mailed my 2019 extension as well as 2020 estimates for 1Q and 2Q. We owe a lot of money with the 2019 return due to a large Roth conversion last December. But we qualified for the last stimulus based on 2018. So the extension is just in case there's another round of stimulus with similar criteria. No rush to get our data in their system, although they could infer quite a bit based on the size of the check I sent.

I decided to do the two estimates by paper as well, just for fun. We'll see how long it takes to process my paper checks once they are added to the pile. I suspect it won't really take very long... probably a lot more automated than I'm envisioning. But this whole process was weirdly nostalgic... writing checks, licking envelopes, hunting for stamps, driving to the post office.
The IRS has "check sniffing dogs" to scan the incoming mail to get that check quickly!
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Old 07-13-2020, 03:22 PM   #19
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I decided to do the two estimates by paper as well, just for fun. We'll see how long it takes to process my paper checks once they are added to the pile. I suspect it won't really take very long... probably a lot more automated than I'm envisioning. But this whole process was weirdly nostalgic... writing checks, licking envelopes, hunting for stamps, driving to the post office.
Mine (Q1 and Q2) were both cashed within a week.
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Old 07-13-2020, 04:28 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Cobra9777 View Post
I just snail-mailed my 2019 extension as well as 2020 estimates for 1Q and 2Q. We owe a lot of money with the 2019 return due to a large Roth conversion last December. But we qualified for the last stimulus based on 2018. So the extension is just in case there's another round of stimulus with similar criteria. No rush to get our data in their system, although they could infer quite a bit based on the size of the check I sent.

I decided to do the two estimates by paper as well, just for fun. We'll see how long it takes to process my paper checks once they are added to the pile. I suspect it won't really take very long... probably a lot more automated than I'm envisioning. But this whole process was weirdly nostalgic... writing checks, licking envelopes, hunting for stamps, driving to the post office.
I once saw a presentation from an IRS staffer about how mail is processed. Their goal is to cash all checks within 24 hours of receipt, and they usually succeed. They know which envelopes have checks because you send 1040 ES and 1040s with payments to different addresses than 1040s with refunds.

After they cash the checks, they batch up the paper returns and enter them all into e-files (they probably scan them nowadays), so everything ends up in the same system on the IRS end no matter how they receive it.
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