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Printers block IRS clearing tax backlog

May 10, 2021

70% of printers are not working because they are out of ink or because the waste cartridge container is full.

As the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) resumes working, a lack of functioning printers and copiers blocks the IRS’s ability to reduce backlogs in processing tax returns, a US Treasury report said.

An audit of the Ogden, Utah and Kansas City, Missouri, Tax Processing Centres in March 2021 showed that IRS staff face ongoing challenges to tackle the ongoing backlogs due to a lack of working printers and copiers. As of 30 March 2021, 42% of devices used by the Submission Processing functions are unusable, and others are broken but still functioning.

IRS employees at the tax processing centres stated that they could not use many of these devices because they are out of ink or because the waste cartridge container is full.

The contract for supplies and service of the printers ended in September 2020, but the printers remain in the Tax Processing Centres, and the IRS is continuing to use them. The IRS had entered into a new contract in October 2020 to obtain new printers from a different provider. However, the report indicated “that the new contractor may not have been coming into the sites to replace the old printers due to COVID-19 concerns.”

In one department, the report said as of 22 March2021, 70% of the devices needed in the [tax] Return and Income Verification Services functions in Kansas City, Missouri, were not working. Leaving just three devices to make copies of tax returns to fulfil requests for tax documents from taxpayers and other institutions.

The report said employees “were concerned that they would have a work stoppage if these remaining devices became unfunctional. This issue has been an ongoing challenge since March 2020.”

Our take on this: Someone at the IRS should have egg on their face over this. Then again, the new contractor also needs to be held to account.

Categories : World Focus

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