The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued its new Data Book that aims to detail the agency’s activities during fiscal year 2020 over the course of the pandemic.
The latest Data Book comprises 33 tables describing all IRS activities, from returns processed and revenue collected to numbers and amounts from examinations of returns and collection methods, as well as budget and personnel information.
It also details how the IRS developed new technologies and provided the equipment necessary to allow thousands of employees to work from home during the pandemic, which enabled the IRS to resume processing returns and providing phone assistance to taxpayers.
In addition, it notes how the agency eased burdens on people facing tax issues by extending the deadline to file and pay federal income taxes from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, while also launching the People First Initiative, which eased payment guidelines, postponed compliance actions and suspended most collection enforcement activities.
Also detailed in the book is how, under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the IRS issued 161.9 million Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) in the first round: 122.5 million by direct deposit, 35.8 million by check, and nearly 3.6 million by debit card.
Under the Covid-Related Tax Relief (CRTR) Act of 2020, the IRS also issued 146.5 million second-round EIPs, including 112.8 million by direct deposit, 25.7 million by check, and 8 million by debit card. In total, the IRS provided $412.9bn in relief under these programs during the calendar year.
Overall, as the IRS continued its operations, it processed more than 240 million tax returns, and collected nearly $3.5tn in federal taxes during the fiscal year, about 96% of federal revenue from all sources.
IRS commissioner Chuck Rettig said: “This year’s Data Book describes the important work that IRS employees accomplish on behalf of the public. The IRS accounts for approximately 96% of the funding that supports the federal government’s operations, while proudly serving and interacting with more Americans than any other public or private organization.
“The 2020 Data Book also details the extraordinary measures the IRS took to protect the health and safety of taxpayers and IRS employees during the COVID-19 pandemic while implementing critical economic relief legislation – the largest economic rescue packages in US history.”
He added: “You’ll find many interesting statistics within the Data Book. But there’s more to the IRS story than charts and tables. IRS employees care, and our agency is made up of people who give back to their communities and help one another. Our employees provide significant support for those devastated by hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters, and across the nation, they did amazing work in their communities to help those impacted by Covid-19.”