YORK, Pa. — Maggie Wood of Windsor Township, York County knows exactly how much the IRS owes her, $2,976. "I just want to make sure it's not lost, down the drain," she said.
It's Wood's 2020 tax refund from the IRS that she is still waiting to see. She filed by mail because of some life changes that year and has been told to "be patient" for her payment.
"It's probably in the bundle with the other 80 million that were mailed in that they're just getting to them yet," said Wood.
But what really irked Wood, was when she filed her 2021 tax return and got that refund in just weeks. She's tried contacting the IRS and a taxpayer advocate with no luck.
What can you do while waiting for a refund?
CPA Keith Huntzinger says in Wood's situation, he recommends reaching out to your local member of congress.
Congressman Scott Perry's office says it has fielded a lot of these calls and sent us a statement that reads in part "My staff and I have been successful in resolving hundreds of these delays — regardless of the reprehensible bureaucratic nonsense — and I encourage constituents to keep reaching out to us so we can keep trying to get their hard-earned money back where it belongs."
Huntzinger says the IRS does have to eventually pay people like Wood their refund, but "There's no time frame that they have to meet in order to get a refund back to a taxpayer," he said.
The COVID-19 Pandemic hit the IRS hard, just like many other industries.
With the stimulus payments mandated by the government, employees who would typically work on tax returns sent out economic impact payments instead. The IRS has been playing catch-up ever since. The agency has a goal of hiring 10,000 employees in the next two years to make sure this doesn't happen again.
Although, people like Wood who are still waiting, say it's exhausting to keep hearing excuses at this point.
She said, "I'm a patient person, I've waited this long, what's another year?"
As of April 15th, the IRS commissioner says there are still more than 5 million paper returns from 2020 that still need to be processed. He hopes those will be done by December. The commissioner also addressed some other changes he thinks need to be made at the IRS.