Speed Reads

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Tax Day cometh, and millions of Americans still haven't filed

Tax Day arrived Monday, with millions of Americans still struggling to get their income tax returns filed, The Associated Press reports.

As of April 8, the Internal Revenue Service had received more than 103 million returns and issued refunds totaling $204 billion to more than 63 million taxpayers. Last year, more than 169 million people filed returns, meaning that at that point 40 percent or so still had yet to file.

Those rushing to meet the deadline are "better off filing an extension" to avoid sloppy mistakes and amended returns that can cause the IRS to take a "double look," Nina Tross of the National Society of Tax Professionals told AP. Filing an extension has "zero effect" as long as you don't owe the IRS any money.

The IRS is under pressure, too, as it contends with its biggest backlog in history. According to The New York Times, the IRS "started this tax season buried in a backlog of more than 20 million tax returns from previous years" and is seeking to hire 10,000 new employees to help clear the backlog.

President Biden has proposed giving the IRS $80 billion over the next 10 years to staff up and modernize the agency, but Republicans in Congress seem perfectly happy to let the agency struggle.