Delays for some getting their tax returns

IRS is short staffed and identity theft is a growing problem


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – We know lots of people filed their tax return on Tuesday or maybe they got an extension.

But there could be delays for some getting their tax returns.

There are two issues: The IRS is short-staffed and identity theft is a growing problem.

Dealing with the IRS can be an uphill battle, according to some taxpayers.

But for one woman, advice is desperately needed after her meeting with HR Block.

Rosa had her identity stolen and said, "They called and said the IRS had kicked it out because someone had already used my social security number. Where do you go from there?"

Rosa said after her identity been stolen and her information compromised, she has several questions for the Internal Revenue Service.

But nationally tax experts say they have inadequate resources to handle customer demands. This information is coming from an IRS Taxpayer advocate, who says the IRS has 5,000 fewer employees than it did a year ago.

"It really sucks because now you have to wait in line and you don't have the opportunity to get in and get out," Taxpayer Shaquita Arline said. "It's harder wasting your whole day, just waiting here."

Tax experts say the IRS's staffing level is the lowest it has been in years, which is why they're encouraging electronic filing and directing taxpayers to their website.

Here's why the experts say it's harder to get in contact with the IRS:

- Congress made changes to the tax codes.

- Expiring tax cuts are up for debate.

- The IRS has become an increasingly popular target for identify thieves.

The IRS is overloaded and stretched like never before, trying to solve the problems of hundreds of Americans just like Rosa.

"So if they do it to my income tax return, are they going to get credit in my name and do the whole gamete," Rosa asked. "I don't know what to do."