Congressman: Delays in US tax returns expected to take months

Rep. John Shimkus says filing electronically before the July 15 deadline is the best way to get a return check as soon as possible.

Carol Daniel
July 01, 2020 - 4:23 pm

(KMOX) - If you planned on getting a passport, get ready to wait. Illinois Congressman John Shimkus says the coronavirus pandemic is causing lengthy delays at federal agencies responsible for processing passport applications as well as tax returns.

Shimkus adds, the delays are expected to persist for months. He says mailed tax returns and applications have been piling up for months and while work can be done fro home, opening mail requires federal works to be in their offices.  

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According to the Internal Revenue Service, as many as 11 million tax returns filed by mail have yet to be opened. Paper returns will be processed in the order they were received, and tax filers are advised not to file a second return. 

Shimkus says his office can only obtain status updates for those returns that have already been opened by the IRS.

"This year's tax filing deadline is July 15," Shimkus said. "So if you haven't filed yet, I strongly encourage you to file electronically – especially if you're expecting a refund." 

Like this year's tax returns, as many as 1.6 million passport applications are also delayed according to the State Department. Shimkus says his office is only able to expedite passports in life or death situations.

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