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Senator Hassan Presses IRS Commissioner on Delayed Tax Returns, Expanding Outreach on Small Business Relief Programs

Senator Hassan Previously Called on IRS to Quickly Address Issues Granite Staters Have Experienced in Receiving their Economic Impact Payments and Tax Refunds

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) questioned Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig today on what the agency is doing to address delayed IRS tax returns and expand outreach to small businesses about COVID-19 relief available to them.


To watch the Senator’s questioning, click here.


“I sent you a letter in January urging the IRS to clear the backlog of unprocessed 2019 tax returns – and obviously I’ve been hearing from constituents [about this],” said Senator Hassan. During the hearing, the Commissioner discussed efforts to address the backlog, including overtime shifts by IRS employees. Senator Hassan also pressed the Commissioner on how the IRS is mitigating the impact that these delayed returns have had on Granite Staters.


Senator Hassan also asked about how “reducing your reliance on outdated IT systems at the IRS [can] help reduce the issues with processing tax returns, prevent future backlogs, and I assume it would save you money.”


The Commissioner discussed the importance of updating its outdated IT systems. “The ability for the IRS to be agile, to be nimble, to deliver services, to deliver in the enforcement arena both internally and externally is where we’re headed and I think collectively including Members of the committee, I think we all agree, it’s what the people of this country deserve,” said Commissioner Rettig.


In addition, Senator Hassan discussed relief that she secured for small businesses in the December COVID-19 relief and government funding bill. Because of a bipartisan push from Senator Hassan and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), small businesses who have received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) assistance can also access the Employee Retention Tax Credit. Previously, PPP recipients were unable to receive the Employee Retention Tax Credit.


“The December relief package contained a bipartisan bill I worked on with Senator Burr to provide the Employee Retention Tax Credit to businesses that received Paycheck Protection Program assistance. The relief package also directed the IRS and Treasury to raise awareness of the tax credit among small businesses,” said Senator Hassan. “We are still hearing from small businesses and [tax] preparers that they don’t know much about it.”


Commissioner Rettig discussed ways that the IRS is partnering with local organizations to raise awareness, and that more could be done so that more small businesses know about their options to access both the Paycheck Protection Program and the Employee Retention Tax Credit.