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ST. LOUIS — David Mulford of St. Louis hasn’t filed his taxes yet like many. Like many, once Mulford does, he expects to wait for his return. 

The IRS is once again dealing with backlogs and staff shortages.  

“Absolutely, I’m assuming there’s going be a delay,” Mulford said. 

Mulford’s assumption is correct. CPA Kathy Ayres said to be prepared to wait longer than expected.   

“They’re a cluster right now,” Ayres said of the IRS. “It’s going make for another very difficult tax season.” 

Ayres knew there could more issues than usual this tax season with the continued pandemic and the agency not having enough employees.  

“They’re very understaffed they have antiquated computer systems. they got automated notices going out to clients, taxpayers that are erroneous.” 

The IRS website says its opening mail within normal timeframes. But Ayres questions how many agency employees are there to answer phones reply to emails and open mail?  

“I don’t know if there’s just not enough people. or if they’re not taking calls because they’re trying to get through some of the paper correspondence,” she said.  

It’s not just the federal level you’ll have to wait on either. Missouri and Illinois have indicated not all their software will be ready until mid-February.  

“You can file your federal, but you’ve got to wait for your state for those of us around here,” Ayres said. 

She said the best thing to do is file, if you haven’t already, and prepare to wait.  

“Unfortunately, we’re all at the mercy of their processing until we can move forward,” Ayres said.