Continued Assessment of the IRS’s Efforts to Address the Backlog of Its Tax Processing Operations
The overall objective of this review is to continue to assess the IRS’s efforts to address backlogs of work in its various Submission Processing functions both carried over from the 2020 Filing Season and additional backlogs resulting from the IRS’s inability to timely process tax returns and other tax account work received during the 2021 Filing Season. This review addresses the major management challenge of Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Review of IRS’s Customer Service Efforts to Assist Taxpayers With the Child Tax Credit Portal and Non-Portal Updates
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is initiating a review of the Internal Revenue Service’s customer service efforts to assist taxpayers in determining their eligibility and updating their personal information in order to qualify for advance payments of the Child Tax Credit. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which became law on March 11, 2021, increases the amount of the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 to $3,000 per child under the age of 18 ($3,600 for children under 6). The American Rescue Plan Act also requires the IRS to develop an online portal, known as the Child Tax Credit Update Portal. Taxpayers that do not have access to the Internet will be able to contact the IRS using a dedicated phone line or visit a Taxpayer Assistance Center to either opt-out or update their information.
Assessment of the IRS Efforts to Prioritize and Reduce Consistent Accounts Management Overage Inventories
Accounts Management is responsible for assisting taxpayers with questions about the tax laws, their tax account, the status of their refund and responses to many IRS notices. Accounts Management’s ability to timely resolve taxpayer’s issues directly effects the customer service and experience provided to the taxpayer. Accounts Management has consistently had a high percentage of overage inventory for many years. The overage inventory has grown worse because of the IRS closures related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which caused a backlog of mail at Tax Processing Centers and Campus Support sites. Because most of Accounts Management inventory is initiated by the taxpayer, delays in getting through the backlog of mail causes inventory to be overage before it makes it to Accounts Management.
Expanded Eligibility for the Premium Tax Credit
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is initiating a review to evaluate the Internal Revenue Service’s efforts to implement the Premium Tax Credit tax law changes affected by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which became law on March 11, 2021, waives the repayment of any excess advanced Premium Tax Credit received by marketplace participants during Calendar Year 2020. Additionally, the American Rescue Plan Act increases the Premium Tax Credits for all income brackets for coverage years beginning in 2021 and 2022.
Implementation of Child Tax Credit Advanced Periodic Payments
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is initiating a review to evaluate the Internal Revenue Service’s actions to implement the legislative changes made by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 to expand the Child Tax Credit and issue advanced periodic payments. The ARPA, which became law on March 11, 2021, increases the amount of the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 to $3,000 per child under 18 years old ($3,600 for children less than 6 years old). The credit is fully refundable and a portion of it can be paid in advance to taxpayers. In addition, the Act requires the IRS to develop an online portal so that taxpayers can either un-enroll from receiving advanced periodic payments or update information such as marital status, number of qualifying children, etc. that would affect their eligibility for the Child Tax Credit and/or revise their advanced payment amounts.
Review of the Internal Revenue Service’s Development of the Child Tax Credit Update Portal
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is initiating a review of the Internal Revenue Service’s development of the Child Tax Credit Update Portal (CTCUP) that was included as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The Act includes approximately $1.9 trillion in economic relief and stimulus to address the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses. It also contains numerous tax-related provisions intended to provide relief to individuals and businesses. These provisions will have a significant impact on IRS operations and Federal tax administration.
Expanded Child and Dependent Care Credit Eligibility
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is initiating a review to assess the IRS’s implementation of the expanded Child and Dependent Care Credit (CDCC) eligibility requirements. The American Rescue Plan Act temporarily expands the CDCC for taxpayers who work or are looking for work. The CDCC will be fully refundable for Tax Year 2021. The amount of the credit, rate used to determine the credit, and income phase-out limits increased significantly. In addition, the amount of employer-provided dependent care benefits has more than doubled. These changes make the CDCC the largest refundable credit.
HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development’s (CPD) Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG-CV) program
HUD OIG is reviewing HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development’s (CPD) Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG-CV) program. The CARES Act provided $4 billion in ESG-CV funds to be used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, among individuals and families who are homeless or receiving homeless assistance. Our objective is to determine what challenges grantees of ESG-CV funds have faced in implementing the program and utilizing grant funds.
Disaster Preparedness of Federal Agencies
HUD OIG will summarize the conclusions/findings and recommendations reported by seven participating OIGs and the General Accountability Office related to natural disaster preparedness. Our objective is to inform Federal agencies and the OIG community of the reported conclusions/findings and recommendations regarding preparing for and responding to natural disasters.
Temporary Endorsement Policy Related to COVID-19 Forbearance Activity
HUD OIG is auditing HUD’s administration of its temporary endorsement policy related to COVID-19 forbearance activity. The temporary policy allowed mortgagees to endorse mortgages that were placed into forbearance prior to endorsement as long as they met certain requirements and executed a 2-year partial indemnification agreement. Our objectives are to determine whether the policy was properly followed by mortgagees, review HUD’s plan to monitor and enforce the indemnification agreements, and review HUD’s decision to end the policy.