In what even the U.S. Treasury says will be a frustrating tax season, families claiming the child tax credit and newly self-employed Americans are among filers likely to see the biggest challenges this year.

The season starts Monday, and while Internal Revenue Service teams have been working “non-stop” for several months, years of funding and personnel cutbacks, along with a backlog of several million tax returns from previous years, will hamper the agency’s abilities to respond as swiftly as in the past.

With slim chances of reaching the IRS by phone, recipients of the child tax credit may face particular issues. Half of the up-to $3,600 credit per child for 2021 was already distributed via monthly payouts, meaning the credit should be half the size of last year’s. Taxpayers will also need to report the dollar amount for what they already got in 2021—as stated on a mailed IRS form that they might or might not have received, opened and saved.

For those who drew on unemployment insurance last year and started their own small business or “side hustle,” returns are especially complex, tax accountants say. And businesses counting on an employee-retention perk might not have noted that this benefit ended three months early.

“The pandemic and the staffing shortages and budget cuts over the years—it’s all added up to kind of create this perfect storm of just a disappointing tax season,” said Bryan Cannon, CEO of Cannon Advisors, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based financial advisory services firm. “It’s been an open wound that’s been occurring for a while, and the pandemic has basically dumped salt on it.”

The tax agency launched the start of tax season—which runs to April 18 for most taxpayers—with a warning that tax refunds could be delayed past the typical three-week turnaround time. That’s a blow to households struggling to cope with an inflation surge and the omicron wave that’s kept some people out of work.

Lawmakers are looking at ways to ease pressure on the IRS, but help may not come quickly, with President Joe Biden’s economic agenda—which contains $80 billion for the agency—stalled in the Senate.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden said he is considering more ways to make the filing season easier, including a possible extension of the filing date. He said he is also looking at ways to grant the IRS more money to fund taxpayer services, though it’s unclear how easily Congress could quickly pass any such measure.

The IRS is sending letters to taxpayers that received the advance child tax credit payments in 2021 to let them know how much in total was sent to them. Recipients will need to state that number on their returns, and if there’s a discrepancy, or math mistake, that will trigger an error from the IRS that could cause delays in refunds, require an amended return, or penalties and fees.

Taxpayers not used to receiving or opening mail from the IRS may toss the letter and be surprised when they have to reconcile it on their return, Karen Orosco, head of consumer tax at H&R Block said.

The IRS recommends making sure that all documents from employers, financial institutions and the IRS are collected before filing a tax return to avoid any mistakes that could delay a refund being processed. The agency also says it can more quickly review returns that are submitted electronically, and urges taxpayers to receive their refund via direct deposit, rather than paper check.

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