Navigating a Swamped IRS
Navigating a Swamped IRS

Navigating a Swamped IRS

Mobility Trends and Hot Topics

Published: Mar 22, 2022

The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) workload has been increasing for years as its headcount has been contracting.  Like other employers facing this labor shortage, the IRS is also having its own difficulties finding enough qualified job applicants.

Coupled with limited funding and an extra workload from stimulus programs, the current tax season is even busier than usual for the IRS. It currently has a massive backlog of six million individual tax returns from last tax season and nearly 24 million American taxpayers are still waiting for the IRS to process their tax returns from last year. Many refunds have been held up for nearly 11 months.

During a press call, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said that even though the IRS is diligently trying to catch up, it is unable to deliver the amount of service and enforcement that our taxpayers and tax system deserve and needs.

Relocation Families

For relocating families, it is important to understand how relocation expenses are reported on various countries’ tax forms from the company. In most cases, NEI provides information about relocation-related expenses directly on the relocating employee’s NEI website and have access to any summary reports of tax related expenses in this one place.

NEI helps answer questions related to relocation expenses as reportable income. Employers can help manage employee expectations by reminding employees who are “surprised” about the tax implications from their relocation that:

  • The policy they were provided indicated the tax implications
  • The details of their expenses are available on their NEI website
  • If they still have questions, they can reach out to their NEI Account Executive for more information

For those moving cross-border, where two countries might be involved, tax expertise is always recommended, but here is some general information:

  • One-way moves: Most companies offer a tax briefing to help the employee understand the nuances of the tax regime to which they are moving. Some companies might help with the first year of professional tax preparation fees.
  • Assignments: It would be typical for companies to provide the tax preparation services for home and host countries.

In most cases, NEI coordinates with the company’s payroll or international tax provider to ensure they have all mobility expense information from the assignment to appropriately include in the home and host country payrolls.

Best Times to Reach the IRS

Though the IRS is swamped, if you need to call them, some say they have better results reaching the IRS in the morning, starting as early as 7 a.m. Eastern time, and Wednesday through Friday seem to be the best days to reach an IRS representative. However, you should still expect long waits.

The IRS says phone service wait times are longer on Mondays and Tuesdays, on weekends and, of course, the closer one gets to April’s filing deadline. It is also important to:

  • be patient,
  • be polite, and
  • keep good records of contacts, attempted contacts, and one’s discussions.

IRS Commissioner Rettig also encouraged people to establish an online account at to help access information quickly. The IRS has invested in online capacities to provide taxpayers with a quick and easy way to access information so the calls for more complicated issues can be answered in a timelier manner.

If a call is necessary, taxpayers should organize 2021 tax records ahead of time to make the process move more smoothly. These records include Social Security numbers, individual taxpayer-identification numbers, adoption taxpayer-identification numbers, and this year’s identity protection personal identification numbers valid for the calendar year 2022.

Tips for Filing Taxes

Finally, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig reminds taxpayers of the importance of filing electronically with direct deposit being more important than ever, and “we urge extra attention to those who received an Economic Impact Payment or an advance Child Tax Credit last year. People should make sure they report the correct amount on their tax return to avoid delays.”

As with any tax year, filing for your taxes with accurate information is the best way to eliminate potential frustrations down the road, whether you are reporting child tax credits received or relocation expenses. NEI can’t help with the former, but we certainly can assist with the latter. Help for questions is just a call away…and NEI answers our calls!


The above article is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before making any decisions or transactions.