As of May 31, the IRS was still plagued by delays in processing paper returns and issuing refunds, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate, Erin Collins. In her midyear report to Congress, Collins reported that the IRS had a backlog of 21.3 million unprocessed tax returns, an increase of 1.3 million, or nearly 7%, over the same period in 2021. Collins hoped the IRS would fulfill its pledge to clear the backlogged inventory this year. However, the period covered in the report ended three weeks ago, before the IRS announced it would soon complete processing all original, error-free individual income tax returns filed in 2021, clearing a backlog of 8 million returns.