"Here, at last, is the real reason your tax return is delayed: It’s not the pandemic. It’s that the IRS handles too much paper and has failed to adopt scanning technology that could have significantly reduced the current backlog of returns.
The way the agency processes paper is “archaic” and was a problem that was fixable long before the coronavirus shut things down, National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins wrote in her latest blog about the 2022 tax season.
Last year, the IRS received nearly 17 million paper 1040 forms, more than 4 million individual amended returns and millions of paper business returns, according to Collins.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around it: Employees transcribe all of those millions of paper tax returns manually."