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Senator Hassan Presses IRS Commissioner on Tax Credit Delays to NH Businesses

The Senator Also Questioned the Commissioner on Need to Modernize IRS Tax Processing Systems to Better Serve Taxpayers

WASHINGTON – During a Senate Finance Committee hearing yesterday, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) pressed IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig on the IRS’s delays in issuing the Employee Retention Tax Credit, which are hurting Granite State small businesses. In addition, Senator Hassan highlighted her bipartisan legislation to modernize the IRS’s tax processing systems to help improve customer service, reduce tax return delays, and save taxpayer dollars.


To watch Senator Hassan’s questioning, click here.


Employee Retention Tax Credit Delays


“I am hearing from small business owners – including an owner of many Dunkin’ locations in New Hampshire – who are still waiting for their Employee Retention Tax Credit payments,” said Senator Hassan. “Small businesses need this relief, and now, with the tax filing deadline approaching, many employers are facing higher taxes due to the delay in payments of these tax credits.”


In response, Commissioner Rettig said that the agency has prioritized the filing of these tax credits and has expanded mandatory overtime so that employees can process the necessary forms.


The Senator went on to press the Commissioner on the need to provide greater flexibility for businesses so that businesses can time the payment of their taxes with receiving the delayed Employee Retention Tax Credit.


Senator Hassan has led efforts to ensure that New Hampshire businesses can fully utilize the Employee Retention Tax Credit, and successfully worked with Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) to include a measure in the funding bill that passed into law in 2020 to allow eligible small employers to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program and claim the Employee Retention Tax Credit. Additionally, thanks to efforts by Senator Hassan, the American Rescue Plan provided payroll assistance through the Employee Retention Tax Credit to new small businesses started during the pandemic, which at the time could not access this tax relief. The American Rescue Plan also expanded the Employee Retention Tax Credit in order to further support businesses hardest hit by the pandemic following bipartisan calls led by Senator Hassan.


Legacy IT


“Last week the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed my bipartisan Legacy IT Reduction Act, which requires agencies to identify their outdated and obsolete technology and publish robust modernization plans to dispose of or update those systems – systems such as the 62-year old processing system at IRS and its paper-based filing systems,” said Senator Hassan. “Modernizing these systems could help reduce improper refund payments and address the current backlog of unprocessed tax returns – which has been significantly worsened by the IRS’ outdated IT systems.”


Commissioner Rettig responded that the IRS would improve its online portals for taxpayer customer service and update the IRS’ Issue Management Systems so that they are more workable for both IRS employees and the taxpayer.


Senator Hassan has led efforts to modernize government technology. In addition to her recent bill, last year, Senator Hassan held hearings on the costs and challenges presented by the government’s reliance on legacy IT and cosponsored bipartisan legislation that was passed into law to help accelerate the adoption of the latest technologies by government agencies.