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Rep. Andy Briggs, R-Ariz., sent a letter to the IRS Friday, demanding to know why the federal agency failed to issue 2019 tax refunds and Economic Impact Payments authorized by Congress under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in March.
“We are currently living in unprecedented times. There are now 40 million unemployed Americans,” said Biggs in his Friday letter. “My constituents do not have the luxury of waiting days for simple answers about the status of their filings, nor should they receive confusing or inconsistent guidance when they do finally receive responses.”
Biggs pointed to the fact that over 10,000 IRS employees are required to work from home right now, which means people are unable to visit the Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TAC) to get direct answers regarding tax returns or to file paper tax returns.
“Two months into the COVID crisis, the IRS still has not figured out a way to promptly return phone calls or finish processing paper refunds,” Biggs told Fox News. “Given the billions of dollars East Valley residents are forced to fork over to the IRS each year, these are inexcusable shortcomings.”
“I demand to know how [IRS] Commissioner Rettig intends to improve taxpayer services in the coming days and weeks,” Biggs said to Fox News Friday.
Arizona has seen massive economic shutdowns due to the stay-at-home order issued March 31.
The state’s Department of Health Services reports that Arizona has had over 15,600 coronavirus cases and nearly 800 deaths. But more than half of the state’s cases have been in Maricopa County, where Rep. Biggs’ district is located.
The Bureau of Labor statistics also reported Friday, that Arizona had over a 12 percent unemployment rate during the month of April.
“For better or for worse, the IRS provides and essential service,” wrote Biggs. “If American citizens are asked to sacrifice some of their God-given liberty in the form of taxation, they should at least be granted the courtesy of prompt assistance.”