Tax Day 2021 is here...

The IRS is reminding all individual filers that today—Monday, May 17—is the deadline on tax returns for tax year 2020, or put in for an extension. The extraordinary extension from mid-April was implemented to help ease the challenge posed by COVID.

This year is looking profoundly different at the tax agency in other ways, too. With its lean workforce, slashed significantly over decades, valiantly persevering this tax season—and many more IRS employees teleworking due to the pandemic—now comes new hope that longtime understaffing might soon end. The White House is proposing a plan to beef up staffing. The aim is to hire thousands more employees to help recover billions of dollars what would otherwise remain uncollected taxes.

“By ramping up the IRS’s enforcement budget, a well-resourced team of revenue agents can be hired and trained to identify when corporations—and the wealthy individuals who own them—underpay,” the Treasury Department document on the plan states. “This proposal is part of a broader overhaul of tax administration that would give the IRS the resources it needs to collect the taxes that are owed by wealthy individuals and large corporations.”

The proposed expansion in IRS resources—involving $80 billion over a ten-year period—must first, of course, pass Congress, with whatever compromises might occur along the way.

In the meantime, this year the agency and its fewer than 75,000 employees must just soldier on—undermanned, according to just about every analysis—collecting the tax revenue that’s duly owed, and that pays for federal employees and the services they furnish to the public. The IRS is reminding individual filers, including feds, again: File your taxes, folks. Today is the day.


2021 Digital Almanac

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