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Published: Jan 13, 2022 5 min read
Close up of a pencil and a tax return form
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Tax season is scheduled to officially begin on Jan. 24. And according to the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent watchdog and advocacy group within the IRS, "the outlook for the upcoming filing season is bleak."

The comments came in the group's annual report to Congress, released by its head, National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins, on Wednesday. While she acknowledged the quick work the IRS did last year with child tax credit and stimulus check payments, she did not sugarcoat the agency's shortcomings. Collins described 2021 as "the most challenging year taxpayers and tax professionals have ever experienced."

Even now, the IRS is still dealing with millions of 2021 tax returns, unprocessed forms and unanswered customer service requests. It's scrambling to deal with pandemic programs like stimulus checks and advance child tax credit payments. It's underfunded and overwhelmed. And there's a good chance all of that will lead to further chaos.