Indeed, due to the pandemic, no paper claims have been processed since the end of March. The situation is worse for customers waiting for an ITIN with more than 250,000 unprocessed applications that are reported to have piled up in recent months. This is a backlog that will certainly take several months to catch up.
While this picture is certainly discouraging, let’s at least look at the positive. The IRS reopened its offices in Kentucky, Texas and Utah on June 1st. While claims are being processed in Austin and Ogden, this was a key step towards the resumption of ITIN issuance and refund checks.
However, the online database has unfortunately not been updated since the reopening.
The Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri and Michigan offices will reopen on June 15th. Offices in Indiana, Ohio, California, Oregon and Puerto Rico will open on June 29th.
The June 15th opening is not expected to have too much impact on Canadians as these offices are primarily used for audits and offers in compromise. On the contrary, the June 29th opening should speed up the processing of applications and also allow the reopening of the Taxpayer Advocate Service offices for international clients (which are located in Puerto Rico).
This is good news for the large number of Canadians waiting for their U.S. tax refund cheques. Nevertheless, all experts agree that it will take several months to clear the backlog. Patience may have to stretch into next fall!
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