Ahead of Tax Day, Mississippi Legislators Address Constituent Concerns

 U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., with U.S. Representatives Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., Trent Kelly, R-Miss., and Michael Guest, R-Miss., sent a letter Friday to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) urging the agency to clear a large backlog of 2019 tax returns before the 2020 tax return deadline. The letter follows a surge in calls and correspondence with constituents in Mississippi who have had issues filing their 2020 taxes and receiving the refunds owed to them from 2019 and 2020.

“We recognize the IRS is taking on additional responsibilities during this time, including processing the latest round of Economic Impact Payments and other COVID-19 relief measures. However, taxpayers continue to face financial uncertainty from the pandemic, and this should not be compounded by the federal government’s inability to return money lawfully owed to them,” the Mississippi lawmakers wrote to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

See the full text of the letter below.

Dear Commissioner Rettig:

We write to express concern about the backlog of 2019 tax returns for Mississippi residents.  Based on the latest numbers, there are approximately 11 million 2019 tax returns that have yet to be processed nationally, including both paper and electronic filings.

We have received reports that around 260,000 notices of failure to file, or CP59s, were mistakenly sent by the IRS to U.S. taxpayers, many of whom paid their returns on time and whose payments were deposited and withdrawn from their accounts, but whose payments were not matched to their returns.

Additionally, as taxpayers begin filing their 2020 taxes, many are unable to do so because the PIN required to fill out the majority of online filings, which would be provided in their 2019 return, remains unavailable.  Our offices have received a number of calls and inquiries regarding the state of their returns.  The Taxpayer Advocate Service, however, is unable to handle the requests for inquiry because the returns have not been processed in any way by the IRS.

We recognize the IRS is taking on additional responsibilities during this time, including processing the latest round of Economic Impact Payments and other COVID-19 relief measures.  However, taxpayers continue to face financial uncertainty from the pandemic, and this should not be compounded by the federal government’s inability to return money lawfully owed to them.  We would appreciate the agency’s response to the following questions:

  1. What are the agency’s immediate and long-term plans for remedying this backlog?
  2. Who at the agency can our constituents contact to help fix problems with their 2019 returns outside of normal means of communication with the IRS?
  3. How can taxpayers retrieve their 2019 PIN number in order to begin processing their 2020 tax returns in a timely matter?

Thank you for your prompt attention to this nationwide problem.  Your assistance will enable us to help our constituents more effectively.

Sincerely,

Roger F. Wicker, United States Senator

Cindy Hyde-Smith, United States Senator

Bennie G. Thompson, Member of Congress

Steven M. Palazzo, Member of Congress

Trent Kelly, Member of Congress

Michael Guest, Member of Congress

Press Release

3/15/2021