However, Rettig cautioned that "enormous challenges" faced by the IRS due to severe levels of understaffing will cause delays in many aspects of IRS operations, including sending out refund checks.
The IRS said Monday that the 2022 filing season will begin on January 24. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Agency officials said they are entering the new filing season with an unaddressed backlog of "several times" the typical level of 1 million unprocessed returns.
The agency was also overwhelmed by a record volume of telephone calls seeking assistance, according to National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins.
The recent wave of staffing issues caused by the pandemic have come in addition to a decade of significant budget cuts to the agency. From 2010 through 2018, IRS funding was cut by 20% in inflation-adjusted dollars, resulting in the elimination of 22% of its staff, the Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2020.